Desert crossing

Lunch under a bridge (the only one) along the most deserted stretch of road across this desert. We had to shield from the sweeping wind and sand under the bridge in order to eat our bread and oranges. That day in fact was the most exhaustive day as the sweeping wind reduced our pace to a pathetic 10km/h or even less. It took us 7hrs of painstaking ride to cover 75km. By the time we reached the only 2 cafes on that road, it was already nightfall!
(Turkmenistan … 09.01.05 to 10.02.05)

For the 1st time in our journey so far, we had to sleep in a cafe/motel and for a fee. That night we had rabbit meat for dinner. (picture) The owner holding on to the rabbit’s head and body for a photo. The head was already decapitated from the body.

Kafe Culan, where we spent a night in the windy dessert. The owner of the truck in picture had invited us to his place during the Kurban Bayram period. His house was around 350km away, near to Ashgabat. Can we reach his place in time for the Kurban Bayram celebration? Judging by the strong opposing wind then, it was really difficult to say. Stay tuned for the outcome …

Camel feeding and milking in Uzynsuw village. The mother camel produces 2L of milk in addition to her calf’s feeding.

Dinner with the 4 Arjikow brothers – plov and camel char, a yogurt type of drink from camel’s milk. It was a coincidence that day that all the brothers were in the house as they were attending and helping in a friend’s wedding, right AFTER DINNER.

The bride and groom sitting on a stage, in a typical Turkmen wedding.

The open space infront of the couple’s stage where the villagers would be dancing to the tunes of Turkmen musics. The band and MC stage is in the background, brightly lit.

Cooking for everyone in the wedding celebration. One of the main dish was rice and we even had watermelons!

A villager proudly showing a ‘cleaned’ sheep’s skull that they had just finished eating. Turkmen vodka (40%) was widely drunk throughout the wedding. 2 things to keep warm in a winter outdoor wedding – either you dance or you drink. Only the guys drank alcohols. For both of us, we neither dance nor drink so after standing and watching the wedding celebrations for a while, we were already shivering … brrr …

2 villagers on the way to sell their kece – another kind of carpet made by hand pressing and rolling camel fur stripes with water for around 2hrs.

Maksat pouring the dried and fried form of tobacco – nash. The locals will put a small amount of nash under their tongue. After some time it would be spat out. According to them, it is quite ‘high’. These kind of nash can also be seen in other Central Asia countries.

Tuwakgylc holding a newly born pigeon. He breeds these beautiful pigeons for sale to other bird owners.

The children playing under their outdoor ‘house’. From spring onwards, they will sometimes eat outside on this wooden platform. In the summer nights when it is too hot to sleep indoors, that will be their bed. Every house has 1 such wooden platform.

The 3 kids of Tuwakgylc, tending to their sheeps which just returned from grazing.

With the family at dinner. Notice the carpet hanging in the background. Such hanging of carpets on walls can be seen in almost every house that we visited in Turkmenistan.

That, is the toilet, shared among the surrounding houses. As in other countries so far, it is the typical ‘pit system’ type of toilet. In the night, everywhere can be toilet, for the guys.

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