Gustaf Mannerheim travelled via the Trans-Caspian Railway from Ashgabat to Bukhara, Samarkand and, finally, Tashkent, the capital of Russian Turkestan. In Samarkand, Paul Pelliot, the renowned French sinologist, and two other Frenchmen boarded the train. Mannerheim, who was a Russian military officer and intelligence agent, disguised himself as an ethnographic collector and joined Pelliot’s expedition to China. They stayed in Tashkent for almost a week and then returned to Samarkand, where they hired several Cossacks, and then continued to the Trans-Caspian Railway’s terminus in Andijan in the Ferghana Valley.
After a bizaar run-in with the Turkmen secret police, I was forced to make a detour into the Karakum Desert and ended up in Konye-Urgench, about 600 kilometres from Bukhara. I hired a taxi to take me to Nukus, a regional capital in Uzbekistan, where I took another taxi to Bukhara and then Samarkand. From here, I boarded the Registan Express for Tashkent and then hired yet another taxi to take me over the mountain pass to the Ferghana Valley and Andijan, which is located close to the border with Kyrgyzstan.
Click on features to view details of the route. The blue route line is my detour into the heart of the Karakum Desert and my taxi ride over a mountain pass from Tashkent to Andijan.
View Horse That Leaps – Eric Enno Tamm in a larger map
Click on the icons to view photos of my trip through Turkmenistan.
For more information about Uzbekistan, check out these links:
Uzbekistan on Wikipedia
CIA World Factbook
Uzbek Travel Agency
EurasiaNet.org – Uzbekistan News
Uzbek Embassy in Washington, DC
Government of Uzbekistan