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Travel Blogs from Ashgabat
... of day 5. My plan had been to look around Ashgabat for the afternoon and evening, sleep in another overpriced Soviet hotel, and leave early on day 4 on a bus for Dashogus, near the northern border. But now I was concerned... the guide book talked of a 9 hour bus ride, but a quick internet search yesterday turned up results ranging from 10-18 hours... and I couldn't risk overstaying my visa, as this would incur a huge fine, which would probably require backtracking to ...
... After a week in a shoebox 8 bed dorm I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!
So I (and my colleague) had a week to get everything setup, before 30 international sports journalists and broadcasters arrived for the 3 day event. As always when I am in Turkmenistan I seemed to suffer from insomnia - so I didn't sleep for more than 3 or 4 hours each night, I was running on pure adrenalin by the time the event started.
Once the first media stepped off the plane ...
... so it definitely was not the Kentucky Horse Park or a grand stable, but for this horse lover it was a great experience.
All horses mean a lot to the Turkmen. Horses are not euthanized, and ceremonies are held when they die.
A Turkmen cultural summary told to us from the lyrics of a folk song:
Water is our life.
Carpet is our soul
Horses are our wings.
Sent from my ...
... situation here, I insisted we do so as Gaeilge, having read about the probability of bugging.
As twilight fell on Ashgabat, unexpectedly guide-free (a liberty I did not foresee), we ambled across the road to a restaurant; for the first time since our departure, a titanic struggle ensued as we attempted to make ourselves understood; there was virtually no mutual vocabulary. The results were surprisingly passable. The night continued to accentuate ...
... Government of Turkmenistan. Some tourists come here specifically to ride these special horses.
*Inevitably our arrival at the border coincides with lunch hour at 1 p.m. There will be no border crossings for at least an hour. Imagine Dover Immigration closing for lunch. Our guide redeems himself slightly and persuades a kindly officer to process us immediately.They insist on checking the same car that had been thoroughly searched just two ...