Anticlimactic Border Crossing

Farap, Turkmenistan August 5, 2019 Arriving at Alat, the last town on the Uzbek side, by happy coincidence I met a couple from Turkmenistan. They travel across the border on a routine basis to buy alcohol and cigarettes, items that are much cheaper here. Perfect, I thought. I could exchange a few dollars for Turkmen … More Anticlimactic Border Crossing

Over the Moon

Tashkent, Uzbekistan July 22, 2019 I got it! I got it! I got it! I got it! I got it! I got it! I got it! That is the refrain playing through my head. I still cannot believe that I got this infamously difficult visa. The rumors on traveler grapevine of Tashkent having a higher … More Over the Moon

The New Silk Road

Samarkhand, Uzbekistan July 19, 2019 In days of yore, camel caravans would arrive in Samarkhand or Bukhara with heartfelt relief. If traveling west, they had survived the dangers of the Taklamakhan desert, battled the robbers in the passes of the Hindu Kush and traveled the dry high deserts of the Pamirs. They would arrive in … More The New Silk Road

Off to Central Asia

May 19, 2015 I was wearing a neck brace (thanks to a recently acquired herniated disc), baggy clothes several sizes too large (erring on the side of caution in Islamic countries) and carrying an arsenal of pain medications including prescription narcotics. I could have made a healthy living peddling medicines in any part of the … More Off to Central Asia