After breakfast at hotel, we visited a bookstore to purchase postcards, and then the post office to get a stamp in the Postal Stamps Travelogue book and send postcards.
Around 11am, we drove for 5 hours to Darvaza, with a stop for lunch at a local village. The owners of the house demonstrated the preparation of Pishme – a fried dough-cake usually served during weddings. And Ishlekli – lamb meat stew covered in flat bread and cooked for 7 hours.
After lunch it was just a long drive through the desert leading to the Darvaza Gas Crater, a man-made crater that is burning with natural gas fires for last 52 years. The site was drilled by Soviet engineers in 1971 as an oil field but collapsed within days, forming the crater, with the engineers choosing to flare the crater to prevent emission of poisonous gases but underestimating the volume of the gas! Although the government has expressed interest in extinguishing the crater, it is one of the main tourist attraction in the country drawing in thousands of visitors.
We strolled around the gas crater in day and after sunset though late hours. And accommodation was at a yurt near the crater. The tour company provided dinner and breakfast (next morning).
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = TMM 3.50 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult. Note that the expenses do not include international flights to and from Turkmenistan.
|Postcards||$8.58||TMM 30 for 5 postcards and stamps.|
|Total Costs||$8.58||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$1,186.72||Per person|
« PREVIOUS – Day 1
Arriving in Ashgabat and visiting horse farm, Kow Ata and Nokhur.
Ashgabat to Darvaza
Travel from Ashgabat to Darvaza Gas Crater.
Day 3 – NEXT »
Travel from Darvaza to Ashgabat, and further to Turkmenbashi.