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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 30 May 2014
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Gaz craters in Darwaza, Turkmenistan

hi everyone,
I'm entering turkmenistan next monday (!!!) from Iran, and my route will be bajgiran, darwaza, konye urgentch, dachoguz.
I hope to see the craters near Darwaza, but according to the lonely planet, it's difficult to get there (well, the LP is definitly not a guide for people with their own vehicule, so...).

Anyone ever get there with a motorbike ? I guess I can camp anywhere around ? And the most important question.. is it still burning ?? ;-)

jb

Last edited by niquedouille; 30 May 2014 at 06:17.
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Old 30 May 2014
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It's been 5 years, so I'm not competent if the cater is still burning.

There is a small restaurant at the main road where the locals make a business of guiding travellers into the desert to the crater. In old Russian 4x4s. I am pretty sure the sand is good enough to reach the crater by bike.
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Old 31 May 2014
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Smile

I was in Darvaza 3 weeks ago.
It is burning still and will still consume himself hundreds of years
The downward slope is to the right in surroundings of the notice board, but not announcing the crater.
There is a renovated road currently at this episode, but one can see the downward slope.
At night you will encounter the glow, but it is possible to miss the convention.
In the day one can't see the glow, but better one can see the downward slope.
From the downward slope of the about 5 km after sand.
Best to examine it at night, to have a nap and then again morning.
Bartosz
www.wyprawy4x4.com.pl
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Old 1 Jun 2014
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Unless the road has been drastically improved the road to the craters is very deep, very loose sand. Real tough going on two wheels unless you really know how to handle nasty sand,

KP
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Old 3 Jun 2014
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As said above its a deep sandy track in the middle of a desert. If you have a single cyl bike its not a problem. If you have a GS, bring lots of water and a sense of humour.
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Old 3 Jun 2014
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And if you have a single cyl GS? :-)
Must say my riding skills are (off road) still to be dicovered ;-)

Verstuurd van mijn GT-I9100 met Tapatalk
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Old 6 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
As said above its a deep sandy track in the middle of a desert. If you have a single cyl bike its not a problem. If you have a GS, bring lots of water and a sense of humour.


well !!! I'm sorry, couldn't read your post 'till I got there. No internet access due to a bearing problem on my rear wheel.

I found the track easy, as in fact, I have it on my OSM map of turkmenistan (I didn't know that.. and by the way, the informations from the LP are just completly wrong!).

I tried, but stop before deep sand. I know that I cannot handle the bike in that. It's an africa twin, relativly heavy loaded. Fortunetly, a 4x4 just came from the crater, and he took me there. Bike left behind his yurt at the bottom of the hill, no problems.

Now that I have seen the tack, I am pretty sure it is possible to go around the sand hill (by the right of the hill, coming from the main road). Should be looking at two wheels tracks, as the son of the guy who drove me there came by bike. No enduro tires at all, and went around the hill like I said. just don't know exactly where, but if your bike is well prepared (no bearing problems.. ) and if you are not alone, you should try to find a way without deep sand. Everywhere around is shallow/hard sand.


It's really worth it to stay at night, it's sureal ! I liked also the millions of glowing spider coming out at night


OOhh, and the road 100 km before konye Urgentch.. I'm glad I started early.. it took me ages to reach konye urgentch!
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Old 6 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by niquedouille View Post
I found the track easy, as in fact, I have it on my OSM map of turkmenistan
Yes I think from memory I was the one who put that track into OSM a few years ago, since I knew other people would want to know it.

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Originally Posted by niquedouille View Post
(.... and by the way, the informations from the LP are just completly wrong!).
Thats not a surprise. Get used to that if you use LP. I am a well known mocker of LP for this part of the world.
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Old 29 Jun 2014
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The 280km from asgabat to the crater, how much time do i need for that? (Dont want te leave to early.. that heat here is impossible! ;-) ).
And then from the crater to konye?
Thanks!
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Old 29 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by AntonioVdE View Post
The 280km from asgabat to the crater, how much time do i need for that? (Dont want te leave to early.. that heat here is impossible! ;-) ).
And then from the crater to konye?
Thanks!
A.
Ashgabat to the track leading to the crater is all beautiful tarmac: just a few hours I would say.
From there to Konye Urgench is tarmac, but with a bad stretch of 80-90 km, close to Konye Urgench. Anyway a few hours should be enough.
In 2010 I departed mid day from Ashgabat, slept in tent close to the crater, next day I went to Konye Urgench, visited it, crossed the border and arrived to Khiva in the evening.

Remember the track to the crater is deep sandy
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Old 30 Jun 2014
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the "beautiful" tarmac is full of pot holes, so don't expect to go very fast..
90km/h is ok but stay concentrate
after the junction with the track, the tarmac is worst, and the last 100 km is terrible.
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Old 1 Jul 2014
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Originally Posted by niquedouille View Post
the "beautiful" tarmac is full of pot holes, so don't expect to go very fast..
90km/h is ok but stay concentrate
after the junction with the track, the tarmac is worst, and the last 100 km is terrible.
Dude, youre being harsh. No-one goes to Turkmenistan expecting "beautiful tarmac" ... its all relative ... its central asia.

You are gonna look back at times from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and think ... "man, you know what, that was pretty damn good tarmac ... I miss it."
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Old 4 Jul 2014
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Hey guys
Thanks for the info.. It was definately worthwile!
I rode to the crater with plenty of water for me and even twice some for my overheating rotax.. i had to tell it 4 times to wake up again after she lay down for a little nap, got there by osm track (thanks to walter) but its true that that one is really just deep sand almost the 50-60% of the time. The other track (if you follow the long dune adjecent to the road to the south, it s the first dune you actually see from the main road, go south around it) maybe 20% sand but still not the easiest for anything +200kg Id say (skill and watersupply depending). I have it on my gps (with a bit of detours but will try to clean that up together with my added waypoints and send them to you Walter if you dont already have it/can do something with it if thats fine).
Cheers again!
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Old 6 Jul 2014
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
Dude, youre being harsh. No-one goes to Turkmenistan expecting "beautiful tarmac" ... its all relative ... its central asia.

You are gonna look back at times from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and think ... "man, you know what, that was pretty damn good tarmac ... I miss it."
just wanted to qualify what crisidsto was saying ("all beautiful tarmac") so antonio knows what to expect

I'm in kazakhstan now, and I already miss the previous countries...
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