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Old 07-05-2011, 05:28 PM   #1021
adiablolex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
been to such brazen democratic countries such as Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Canada.

I was hotter than a freshly fucked fox in a forest fire.
























this shit here is just golden

I'm thinking you should seriously consider writing a book about your "little" travels
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:35 PM   #1022
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[QUOTE=rtwdoug;16321340] Everyone is in line, but Im told to sit on the bench, while they decide if Im moral enough to visit Turkmenistan after having been to such brazen democratic countries such as Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Canada.
/QUOTE]


"And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W's where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly looking people on the bench there."
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I'm guessing Arlo would be proud!
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:19 PM   #1023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deputy_Dawg View Post
Was at the book store earlier browsing through magazines and saw a picture on the front of 'American Iron' that looked familiar. And there inside is a story about Doug and the Dirtster, and about his current trip. Didn't buy the mag but I did read the story - good coverage there Doug.


KLR owner ?

I recognize the symtoms , Cheapo ass, read what you want and put the mag back in the rack , What ? I didn't hurt it .
Been there , done that. Got the KLR to prove it.

Your post , made me laugh . Reminds me of me.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:17 PM   #1024
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thanks for the pic Dan! I'm gonna print & frame it when I get back!

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Old 07-06-2011, 12:13 AM   #1025
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The next morning I head to Ashgabat. 400km of desert away. I got an early start to try & beat the heat, but by 9am, it was already hot. The road is good in places, and bad in others. It looks like the plan was to build a 4 lane highway, but only 2 lanes were finished, and at times even that was rough. I stopped about 11 to get a bottle of water, & when I tried to start the bike, the battery was almost dead. Uh oh.
A couple guys helped me pushstart it, and I pulled out the meter, its not charging. Shit! Theres a town close, & the guy says theres a small bike shop there, and an auto parts store, so I go off to find it. At the bike shop, I pull the battery & put it on his charger for about an hour, and swapped my voltage regulator, as I had a spare with me. I bought a new Ural battery from the bike shop, and a set of jumper cables from the car shop. Neither had a battery charger for sale.
Even with the new reg, Im not getting a charge, but I head to Ashgabat and hope for the best. Im afraid the heat fried the stator. I got to town that afternoon, only stopping when I had to, but the bike restarted every time. I was now running without lights so the drain would be less. I got a room, theres still not much choice in hotels here, I stayed at the Ashgabat Hotel, as many of the others I visited were booked full. It was an old worn out place from the soviet days, but 35 bucks, so not too bad. Of course no inet, its hard to find even in the big city. The next morning I went to a different hotel, it was a lot nicer, & had inet, for 5.00 an hour. The whole concept of free inet for guests doesn’t apply here. Its Wednesday now, and my friend Nick from Italy is heading to Uzbekistan soon on his harley. (we traveled some together last summer in Georgia & Armenia)
I got in touch with him, he leaves Friday. So, I contact Roland in Hungary, & he got me a new stator, & would meet Nick as he came thru Budapest over the weekend. OK, so new parts on the way, I just have to make it to Uzbek. I hired a taxi to take me to buy a battery charger. Now in the US or Europe, this would be easy, and a small charger fits in your hand & costs 20 bucks. But, this is Turkmenistan. Nothing is easy. The girl at the hotel had told him what I wanted, I thought. But he took me to a bike shop, & was trying to find me a battery. When the guy at the shop was asking me what bike it was for, I realized they didn’t know what I wanted. Luckily, in the shop, there was a battery on a charger, so I could show him what I wanted, although a small one.
We went to a car/tool market next. Many small stores with crappy Chinese tools. I got the smallest battery charger anyone had, but of course its still the size of a small bread box. Luckily its bright red. But at least I have one now. I got back to the hotel, & charged the batteries both up til they are full. I figure I can charge them at night, & ride during the day without lights. Its only 2 days ride to Uzbek, shouldn’t be a problem.
There were a group of guys at the hotel from an oil rig, seems the company they were working for didn’t renew their visas like they said they would, & now they are all stuck here waiting for the government to let them leave. What a pain in the ass. They cant LEAVE because the visas expired. This makes sense. They were from the US, UK & South Africa. Nice guys, & I hope they get out soon! And I met up with Vincent again at the hotel.


At the bike shop

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Old 07-06-2011, 12:17 AM   #1026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyno View Post

"And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W's where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly looking people on the bench there."


Whaddya in for kid? Littering. And they all moved away... And resisting arrest..and they all moved back. Gotta love the Group W bench!
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:17 AM   #1027
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Some pics of Ashgabat. This place is the biggest waste of money I have ever seen. Theres SO MANY new white marble buildings, different government offices, fountains everywhere. Parks with gold statues of the dead prez, and police everywhere to make sure you don’t take pictures. Its ridiculous. I’ve never seen anything like it. Some of the projects he had are just funny. Theres steps going up the mountain, for 37km. that’s his ‘walk of health’ of course he never tried it, but once a year, he required the people in the capitol to do it. And there is a big ‘arch of neutrality’ which I didn’t see. I wasn’t sure where it was. Anyhow, they make a big deal out of celebrating that its been 15 years since they proclaimed to the world that they were ‘neutral’ Hey guys? I hate to break it to ya, but no one gives a shit. I can see the headlines now, ‘WW3 averted because Turkmenistan chose a side, & the opposition went home scared’ So anyhow, heres some pics around town. I took the pics from the taxi, & there was several times he wouldn’t let me take a pic. But it was crazy. Oh, and they are STILL erecting new buildings, even tho most of these are empty. Its just crazy.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:19 AM   #1028
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This is a monument to the book the prez wrote. Its required reading, and theres even school courses just on this book. It’s the best thing ever! I couldn’t find an English copy to buy (ok, I didn’t look real hard)

I was sort of watching the news, & there was the new prez, whos just like the old prez. I swear they could be twins. Anyhow, he’s talking, and about 10 guys in black are there, furiously writing notes about the wisdom he is sharing with them. They are outside somewhere, near big piles of grain.




At a local café, Vincent on the right, & the oil rig guys. I hope by now, they are at home!


I took the US Embassy spot at the hotel. Seein as how Im sort of an ambassador, although not one the government would pick J



Im not sure what the hotel would have said about charging batteries, so I thought it best not to mention it to them. Its like dealing with wimmens, always easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

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Old 07-06-2011, 12:21 AM   #1029
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Thursday morning I head north to Uzbekistan. I have 2 days, & its 600km across the Karakoum desert. And my batteries are charged. The town of Mary is about ˝ way, and that’s my goal for the day. The road was a nice highway for a little bit, then went downhill. It was pretty rough, with some stretches of real bad mixed in. and hot. And then the wind started. And the sand was blowing. Great, a sandstorm. This is just what I was needing. Sometimes it would let up, and sometimes it was so bad I could barely see. And it stung a bit too!
I got to Mary, & got a room. Nice hotel, decent price, 40.00, but of course no inet. I registered, & went to the room. When I looked in the mirror, I was amazed they gave me a room. I was filthy! I took a shower & went back to the desk, they were all laughing at how much better I looked now.
The bike has been starting fine all day, so I don’t bother taking the battery out to charge it, its still got over 12v in it.

Exciting scenery along the route. Reminded me of Kansas, but with sand.








They had made the new part of the road here, but as they don’t want anyone to use it until the current road is reduced to nothing, they have it blocked off with piles of dirt, and rocks scattered everywhere





After riding in the sand all day


Outside the hotel

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Old 07-06-2011, 12:23 AM   #1030
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The next morning I stopped by Merv, an ancient city on the silk road. It was destroyed by the Mongols when they came thru. Ghengis had sent a tax collector there, & they killed him. This made Ghengis mad (not a good idea) so he killed everyone in Merv, over 300,000 people. Its been abandoned ever since. Theres not much historical stuff to see here in TM, at least not on my planned route, and I cant get off it very far. Altho there are a lot of police checkpoints, they rarely stop me, & if they do, its mostly out of curiosity, and they don’t check my travel papers.

Most of the city is made from mud bricks, but they say it only rains here every few years, so it takes awhile for the mud to dissolve.

Was a nice place, and the area was pretty big. Some of the buildings were being rebuilt/restored.












Theres a big graveyard here, still being used, as some of the markers were recent




I guess these people weren’t as important


As these





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Old 07-06-2011, 12:25 AM   #1031
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Wow the contrasts in this country are amazing. Thanks for your pics. Hope you get that stator sorted...
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:26 AM   #1032
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Then the local chapter of Allahs Avengers MC showed up. They didn’t know what to think of me






The people are always really nice when I stop, Its not what I was expecting here, I thought I was going to be followed everywhere, eyed with suspicion, no one talking to me. I did get followed on the road some, but I think a lot of it was curiosity. But when I have someone following me, I slowly reduce my speed until they pass me.


I’m riding along, & see another bike traveler, so I stop. I met Thomas from Germany, he is also going to Uzbek, so we decide to ride together. Its nice having someone along for a little bit.









Around the mausoleum all these old bricks were stacked on edge. Im not sure if its for luck or what, but just to cover all the bases, I did it also. You never know…….




We headed north towards the border, & the sand started blowing again. Wasn’t as bad as yesterday tho, and the road was a bit better.






This Chinese trike pulled up at a gas station. I’d like to have one of these back home


We got to Turkmenabat, the last city before the border. I have to leave TM today, but Thomas’ UZ visa doesn’t start til tomorrow, so he got a room & I headed on, with plans to meet tomorrow.
Theres another big checkpoint, & some office where I have to pay another 15 bucks for something. I get to the border at 6:30, only to find out the border closed at 6. WTF? Why did they tell me I had til midnite? The guy says no problem, I can camp at the border & I wont be fined, as I was here on time. Great. Im in the middle of friggin nowhere, miles from a town, no food, etc. Just a bunch of border ruffians hanging around. Suddenly he sees a van across the way, & starts whistling & hollering. The van comes back. It’s the customs officer! I can get thru! YAY!
And Im told the Uzbek side is still open. So it took 4 hours to pass customs getting into this place, & 10 minutes to get out. Stamp some forms, & off I go.
I did notice that the big customs building had a plaque, this building given to Turkmenistan in 2009 by the United States.
Hmmm, these clowns spend billions on useless fancy buildings that don’t get used, fountains, parks that are roped off, and gold statues. Not to mention 37km of steps going up a mountain. And the US buys them a customs building? We don’t have better things to spend our money on? Seems to me that the US may be trying to sway their ‘neutrality’ pledge. How many Americans have even heard of this place, let alone how many would approve building them a big assed building like this?


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Old 07-06-2011, 12:32 AM   #1033
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Great RR. Thanks for posting. Pics are great.
Certainly quite the battery charger you got yourself there.
See, you should have rode an Ironhead. Some new brushes from a VW generator and you'd be back in business.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:38 AM   #1034
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Great RR. Thanks for posting. Pics are great.
Certainly quite the battery charger you got yourself there.
See, you should have rode an Ironhead. Some new brushes from a VW generator and you'd be back in business.
yeah, no shit. 2 RTW rides with generators, & never a problem. last year & this, with alternators, & have problems.
They are new & improved you know......



I'm headin across the pamirs, dunno when I'll have inet again.

Doug
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:45 AM   #1035
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Lovin' the pics and the RR. I guess I'm reading the RR from a real celebrity. Congrats on being on front page of Iron. I'll have to look it up and read the story. Ride safe!
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