A Travellerspoint blog

Garagum

Aridity and water

semi-overcast 25 °C
View Route Olympia - China on Lent's travel map.

While the first three days in the Garagum ("black sands") were desert experience pure with a mostly yellowish (though hazy because of the weather) wide-stretching horizon and occasional camels on and some very basic service facilities (Cayhana) for supply of tea and pies stuffed with minced goat meat, the scenery changes eastwards of Gazanjyk where the Garagum Canal ends that diverts water from the Amu Darya river for a thousand kilometres along the Kopet Dag mountains and is used for irrigation and drinking water supply (which in Turkmenistan is free of charge).
IMG_0492_1_.pjpeg

An interesting sight on the way was the Paraw Bibi Shrine, a popular sanctuary in honor of a virtuous young women that lived in the 11th century. Certainly we're in a muslim country, but the shrine seems only superficially islamized and the merchandise sold to the pilgrims at is really quite similar to some of the European Catholic Mary shrines. With the Iranian border just over the hill top one can see that life in Turkmenistan is affected, but surely not determined by Islam. This is also true in comparison with Turkey, a country that appears as the main sponsor for the now independent Turkmen nation in economic, religious and cultural matters. There is a mosque here and there, but no prayer calls are to be heard anywhere and unlike in Turkey women dress in a colorful way.

IMG_0436_1_.pjpeg
School kids in Gazanjyk

Posted by Lent 23.04.2008 22:09 Archived in Turkmenistan

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUponRedditDel.icio.usIloho

Table of contents

Comments

I did'nt expect to hear from you in Turkmenistan. Info available said that first internet cafe allowed recently and that access was restricted . So.. very interesting account. I had researched the route on Google Earth. John

24.04.2008 by john_irl

Hienoa, että sait lähetettyä vielä kuviakin tästä meille jokseenkin vieraasta maasta! Näitä tietoja ei löydy kirjoista eikä sanomalehdistämme, joten jokainen lauseesi on uutta ja outoa asiaa. Pyöräsi taisi kiinnostaa koulupoikia melkoisesti...? Lukijamäärä koulussa lisääntyy koko ajan, ja mm. RKo lähetti paljon terveisiä. Kristiina

24.04.2008 by vesakri

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint