Monday 25th April 2016
Istanbul, Turkey to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
After waiting in Istanbul Airport for about 8 hours, we left for Ashgabat in the middle of a wild thunderstorm. The Turkish Airlines flight was full and we were both pretty tired but ate dinner and napped too. We arrived in Ashgabat at about 2:30am and checked through immigration with visas (pretty extortionate at $US109 each), picked up our bags which had arrived correctly (amazing) although Lynn’s bag was very wet – must have sat uncovered during the Istanbul storm and then headed out of the terminal and met the driver and guide for our trip as well as two other people who were coming on the trip with us. We found out that there are only five people altogether on this Turkmenistan trip. We then drove to the hotel and checked in and took all our luggage up to the room where Lynn had to unpack and drape some wet items around the room. We had a bath and went to bed around 4:30am. Up again at around 8:30am for breakfast. After breakfast, we sat and chatted to two of the other people on our trip for quite a while. We went out for a walk, changed some money, had a beer then walked back to the hotel for a rest before dinner. David is the only guy on the trip, and the others are all Australians from Melbourne. They are Fran, Belinda and Christine. Tonight we are having a meeting and dinner and tomorrow the trip begins.