Today was a rather long drive through the Karakum desert. The road got worse as we went and it seems that driving is on whichever side on the road has less bumps and potholes, is the correct way of driving in Turkmenistan. We stopped in the middle of nowhere for lunch made from the trucks fully equipped camp kitchen. Other than a few photos of the occasional feral camel and the vastness of the desert the real treat are the Darvaza craters, where we camped nearby overnight.
The craters were made by Russians, looking for natural gas. The first one was filled with water and was a bit ho hum. Boring, but the start of better things. The second one had bubbling mud in the bottom and a small flame burning. Kind of cool and the third one we had to wait for til after dinner.
We then set up camp and after dinner we crammed into some 4WD’s to head to the crater. By cram I mean it felt like playing twister in the back of the 4WD. The fire crater however lived up to expectation, with the orange glow visible for quite a distance. There have been suggestions that the government want to extinguish the fire and harness the gas, but at the same time, I’m not sure if they know how to 🙂