Friday, March 09, 2007

Too many 'stans

Some friends on the London-Tashkent rally with Mount Ararat in the background

The boy has to order a new passport. Turns out, its recommended we have at least 3 clear pages (one for the entry visa, one for the work permit and one for luck). He only has two. Most of his are filled with never used visas from the London-Tashkent Rally of 2005 where he had to turn around at Baku when his co-driver bailed halfway through the trip.

As all of these places ended in 'Stan he found it made for quite a bemused reception whenever he came across local members of the law enforcement in his trip round the US by bike later that year. I would imagine most midwestern cops have not heard of Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan etc.

Talking of Turkmenistan, Turkmenbashi (their self-confessed 'great leader') died while we were in Africa this last trip. I remember the boy and other veterans of the Tashkent rally telling me about all the amazing statues, artwork and public works dedicated to him around the country. And browsing this year's World Press Photo winners there is a charming little photo story which covers just that...

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