Tears

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When I woke up, Nang was still there, and after I started walking…

Nang walking with us

…he decided to come along!

I could hear his little paws follow me on the asphalt, and every now and then I would stop to give him some water and pet him. We were walking together, Nang and I.

It was MAGIC!

It lasted for six or seven kilometers. Then we ran into a few shepherds with their herd:

the shepherd that took Nang

They said they had only a rough idea where Nang was from, and that they couldn’t take him, because their own dogs would probably “eat” him. Something in me rejoiced when he said this.

But then their dogs came over to meet Nang, and, since he was still a puppy, they seemed to like him.

So Nang ran off with them, into the herd:

Nang’s new home

And that was that.

I walked in sadness for a while.

Saw a donkey:

donkey

Saw a herder:

another shepherd

Saw one of the mysterious “desert artworks”:

more art?

Saw another herder:

and yet another shepherd

Took a Let’s Walk video:

And then the border came near. There was a military checkpoint, a rather serious one. The soldiers were all very friendly, but it took a little while to get through, with phone calls going back and forth. In the end we were advised not to camp in the border zone, but to go to a designated hotel. Okay.

Buildings appeared next to the road, many of them empty:

empty building

There were some little farms:

small farm house

And then a village appeared:

new windows

I noticed a lot of half-finished buildings:

abandoned construction?

Never saw anyone work on them, though.

A farmer named Baktir saw me taking pictures and insisted that I photograph him, too:

Baktiar with his tractor

So I did:

Baktiar

There was what looked like an old mausoleum in the distance:

grave in the distance

There were these two charming people:

woman with child near Serakhs

And then the city of Serakhs began:

entering Serakhs

Serakhs was very different from the white marbly grandeur of Turkmenabat or Mary. It was much more down to earth:

road in Serakhs

Then a little miracle happened. I somehow ended up chatting to this beautiful young lady for a few minutes, and we even took a picture together (you can see that I’m trying very hard not to stink after four days on the road):

young lady in Serakhs

These guys were there, too:

kids in Serakhs

The hotel we had been told to go to was way in the south of the city, so I walked until after nightfall:

nightfall in Serakhs

Passed a sports hall with a portrait of the new president:

sport facilites in Turkmenistan

Passed a house with a porch and the moon over it:

house with moon

When we arrived at the hotel after what seemed like hours, I was told that there could not be any photos of the building, because it was in the customs zone.

I was allowed to take photos of my room, though:

hotel room in Serakhs

I liked the room.

We hurried to a little restaurant and had dinner, but it was in no way comparable to the Don’s desert meals:

dinner in Serakhs

It was past nine in the evening, and the place was very empty:

restaurant in Serakhs

There was no alcohol in the shelves:

restaurant bar in Serakhs

And there wouldn’t be on the next day either.

Because I would be in Persia.



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