ASHGABAT TO DARVAZA
The trip to Ashgabat to Darvaza usually takes around 3 hours but not when you break down in the middle of the desert!
IT WAS -10 AND NO SIGN OF CIVILISATION
Over 2 hours into our journey the jeep started to play up and I knew by the look of the driver and guide something wasn’t right. The road down is quiet and for all the resources this country has, rarely do you see a petrol station – a lot of use the 5th biggest flag pole will do!
WHERE IS DARVAZA?
Anyway I decided I needed to use the bathroom so got out and was given the shock of a lifetime. Yes it was chilly in the city but here it was a different story, the guide thought it was between -5 and -10 in the middle of the desert and the car was cooling down sharpish.
It had been 45minutes now and it was nearly as cold inside the car as it was outside. With every car that drove past (there weren’t many) we’d hoped that one was from the company but the wait continue. Things were really starting to look bleak until finally another jeep came to tow us to the next petrol station which wasn’t that far away.
THE GATES TO HELL
After getting mended we continued our journey along with the other jeep. Although it wasn’t long until we were in another situation, this time getting stuck in the mud, I’m starting to think it’s not the jeep but rather the driver.
Driving towards the Gas crater you can see the red glow in the sky from afar and the moment not to miss is the reveal. As you drive up and over the final dune you are met with this insane view of the crater and fire lighting up the entire sky above it, it was like a scene from Independence Day. You now know why it goes by the name, The Gates to Hell.
The tepees which we stay in are looked after by locals who live in them and rent them out to anyone wishing to stay. A few locals had rented mine for the day and were due to leave but they were incredibly funny and drunk!
They were all over me, hugging me giving me home made 100% liquor. They were coming out with so much nonsense but it turns out they just like to say anyone English words regardless of whether it actually makes sense or not.
Next on the agenda was soup and a bar stool of bread! The first soup was vegetable and the second one I wasn’t so sure about so asked the guide who didn’t have a clue himself – even after having asked the chef who cooked it!
- Have you ever broken down in the middle of nowhere?
- Where is the coldest place you have been
- Have you been to Darvaza
Let me know in the comments below . . .