August 30: Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
9:00 It’s Sunday and I’m ready for a slow day. The local livestock market is held on Sundays so that’s about all I’m going to bite off today.
14:00. Rodney and I share a ‘cab’ back to the hotel. It’s not a real cab but rather a guy out to make a few bucks. He charges us 40 manat which is the same as we paid a legitimate can to take us to the market. These guys know their prices. Call it Uber without the app.
A half day at the market provided a full day’s entertainment, in my opinion. I loved the old Russian trucks, more than 200 live camels, a peak inside the on-site slaughter house, and of course the friendly people. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the camels were treated, especially when being loaded onto trucks. I only saw one man hit an obsinant camel and that was with a piece of very lightweight plastic pipe that would not have hurt a camel.
23:20. Dinner with the group was at an outdoor shaslik restaurant near the hotel. It was unremarkable except for the fact that we said goodbye to a eight people who are leaving the trip. We’ll meet three newbies in the morning though. There’s always something to look forward to.