Turkmenistan became independent from the Soviet Union on October 27, 1991. The country is located in Central Asia at the Caspian Sea. It is neighboring Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan is somewhat larger than California and slightly smaller than Spain. It has a population of 5 million. The capital is Ashgabat.
Huge parts of the country is a desert. The country is rich in natural gas and oil, but is suffering from a lack of export routes. The political and economic life has been slow to change since Soviet times. The tourism infrastructure is rather basic but the country has interesting sites outside the capital, like the Kugitang Mountain Range with the Dinosaur Plateau, and the Karlyuk Caves.
David McMillan and Erika Tunick started out on a trans continental motorbike tour from Paris, France in April 2005. Their ambition is to drive through Europe and Asia in order to eventually arrive in Sydney. They are sharing their unusual experience in a blog, which contains many fascinating details about places and countries on their way. We wrote about their journey in an article in December last year: Paris to Sydney on a Motorbike! Their blog also contains a lengthy and highly interesting chapter about Turkmenistan, including plenty of photos. Click here to read about their take on Turkmenistan. Their story is from August of last year.