You havent seen anything like it yet

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Caspian Sea Ferry

Flag of Turkmenistan  ,
Sunday, April 3, 2011

If you thought Baku was bad for waiting, try the Caspian Sea ferry.

Spent an adequate night, despite the lack of decent bed, bedding or anything remotely like one might expect from a third world country. Made our way to the dining room for bbreakfast and got a reasonable meal of scrambled omlette with bread and tea. $5. At least there isnt much they can do to eggs, is there?
Turned on the sat nav at about 10, to see where we were going, and thought happy thoughts, we were just off the coast of Turkmenistan, about 2 hours to go. We could be in by midday. Fat hope. We sailed right past Turkmenbashi (our destination) and kept going. Sometime in the afternoon, we turned in a wide sweep and headed back towards port. Then we stopped. And here we have been ever since, anchored about 10 miles of the port. Apparently (so we were told) there was another ferry in port and we couldnt go in until they vacated the berth. Now its too choppy for them to go in. Compared to the English Channel, its as smooth as can be. Dont tell me this is just to boost sales of scrambled omlette?
As mentioned, the facilities are foul. Cannot find a toilet anywhere that flushes. Mentioned it to the gang of Turkish drivers we have fallen in with and they agreed. Not going to say what we have done.

Used the sat phone to contact Mr Batyr who is the guide waiting 2 days for us, now. Hope he has better facilities than we have. Need to sort the bad running of the car before we go any further, and we arent getting any opportunity to do it in the middle of the Caspian.

Had a meal of spaghetti and mince, because we need to keep our strength up, rather than because either we were hungry or the food was tempting. Neither applied.

Will read a bit before an early night, its unlikely that we'll dock at this time of night (9.30) because if they cant handle a little swell, then they certainly cant handle darkness.

Martin's miserable moment
Compared to this ship restoring the Titanic is certainly feasible.Apart from the drivers - and there are only  few of them - you certainly feel as if you are being held hostage.Having been tapped up yesterday in order to get the upgrade to our present poor accommodation,we were tonight accosted by the Captain (no uniform - must be being altered) and the ship's heavy Eugene who queried why we were approaching our room - we should be down in No.9 -  which having remained unlocked since we rejected it is now an overspill for the communal toilets available elsewhere.I choose my words. When we flourished our key they were all smiles. So we prepare for a second night on the boat and still we have issues with the car to deal with.We need to spend a day in Turkmenbashi with some help from a garage to see what can be done.
Whatever else this trip has done,and our earlier one to Spain,it has shown how similar Western Europe has become and how systemically different Asia is.
We - more particularly me - are having very dark thoughts at the moment.Nothing seems to be swinging in our favour.But we will work together to get the best solution.We are not sure when we will be  near  internet connectivity to upload these our recent outpourings and have been out of contact with our families for a couple of days so we may also be suffering withdrawal symptoms as well as cabin fever.

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Emily on

You poor pair, it sounds really horrible. I've got everything crossed for you that your arrival in Turkmen goes smoothly, and the car just needs a pick-me-up..

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