David (red shirt), a young man from Berlin, runs Stantours, and his Turkmen wife next to him. He is now located in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with a different partner, but still runs the same adventure tourism business there. A couple of years ago I contacted him to have him help me get a visa for Kazakhstan. Inside help, for the 'invitation' is needed for several of these countries, is a must. He will be most helpful where that is concerned.

Turkmenistan is ruled by a very excentric leader, who is also the ruler of the still unaware world. Here, atop this stature of a bull, carrying the globe, there is a little golden statue of the man, dominating the globe. Oil money fills his coffers and supports his lifestyle.


On top of this monument is the golden statue of the president of Turkmenistan. It turns with the sun. Enough said.


There is plenty of money for grand construction


The bazaar in the mountains above Ashkerbad, Turkmenistan, and Meshkhed, Iran

So what's Turkmenistan about? Oil! Darn right. Did we buy any? Heck no, but those awesome hand-made carpets came in a close second. The often amusing, at times obnoxious, Ted Rall (far right - should be far left), among other odd hobbies, collects hand-made Oriental carpets and knows his stuff, where they are concerned.


Tribes, who have roamed these mountains for millenia, who care little about borders, because they were here long before those borders came into being, gather here for a weekly bazaar, where they display their wares.
The women often wear dresses that distinguish them as to the tribes or family groups to which they belong
It is a festive atmostphere and I am sure, much looked forward to by locals and visitors from Asherbad and beyond
Proudly displaying their tribal handiwork and all sorts of goods found in the areas in places often only they know and dare to go to, such as ancient coins, the occasional knife, and some other artifacts, dating from long gone empires that came and went around this region.
Turkman with hats (aka TWH)


Incidentally, for that day, this was the hottest location on earth, 132F

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