Day 14: The breathtakingly beautiful Bukhara

We headed out from our hostel about 9am and spent the entire next hour looking for petrol. For some bizarre reason, all the gas stations in Uzbekistan are deserted and petrol/diesel can be found nowhere.

Day 13: Khiva chronicles

The road north up to the Uzbek border was full of potholes. Moritz was at the wheel for the first 2.5 hours and let’s just say he likes to drive fast. I tried to catch up on some sleep, but kept waking up from bouncing up and down thanks to the broken, and in some…

Day 12: Dazzled by Darvaza

Our morning began with a breakfast buffet with the rest of the group also staying at Hotel Ak Altyn. The food was simple but fresh. After a lazy breakfast, we packed up the car and started for Darvaza, also known as Door to Hell. Before we could start driving towards Darvaza though, we needed to change…

Day 11: An outing in Ashgabat

I woke up in our campsite by the side of the road, feeling tired and restless. I had not slept a wink. Because we sleep in the car which serves as a makeshift camper van, we had left the sunroof open for some air. As a result, I was covered in several layers of sand…

Day 10: Immigration at Turkmenbashi

If you’ve ever complained about long queues at immigration and border controls, you might as well know that the seaport immigration into Turkmenistan beats them all. If you plan to wash up on the shores of this mysterious country, come prepared with a lot of patience!

Day 9: Crossing the Caspian Sea

The most uncertain part of our trip was about to begin. Crossing the Caspian Sea can be notoriously unreliable and full of confusion. The confusion was compounded by the fact that our visas were not in order, as we found out two days ago. We had already contacted Ismayil, the fixer well known for helping…

Day 8: Barreling towards Baku, Azerbaijan

It’s safe to say that Azerbaijan and I have gotten off on the wrong foot. After getting ‘fined’ 100 USD the night before for ‘speeding’, we had checked into a hotel room that stank of stale cigarette smoke and crashed into bed.

Day 7: Getting to Ganja, Azerbaijan

We woke up from a deep sleep and discovered life around us at the beach camp on the Georgian coast of the Black Sea. There were workers putting up a new fence, the family keeping the grounds eating breakfast and cows frolicking on the beach. I’d say they were grazing on the beach, but there wasn’t…

Day 6: Baffled in Batumi

It was one of those mornings that I didn’t want to get up, but the temperature in the car had started to climb. I had no choice but to throw off my sleeping bag and sit up. The sun was blazing through the sunroof which we had left open, and I decided to poke my…

Day 5: Under the stars in Ünye

By day 5, we were making good progress. We drove 846 km in 9 hours, switching driving duties every two hours and stopping for an hour long lunch break. We wanted to leave Istanbul early but couldn’t start driving any earlier than 10am. I generally need some sort of breakfast to start the day off….

Day 4: Istanbul in a hurry

It was hard work dragging ourselves out of bed that morning, but we were determined to get to Istanbul by the end of day. So after a solid night of sleep and a strong shot of coffee on the house, we headed out to drop Mikaela off in Sofia and catch up with a friend…

Day 3: Next stop Niš

After dropping Samuel the Scientist off at the train station, we weaved through rush hour traffic and made attempts to leave the city. A little outside of Prague, we found a gas station to buy breakfast, set our tired brains straight and recalibrate our driving schedule for the day. The aim was to get to…