Day 5 – Mary & Merv

11 May

Woke up to discover that the overhead light was copying the display from last night – it did blue and red as well as white.

Breakfast was not too rushed as I’d settled into the two yoghurts, bread and sausage routine. Caroline still didn’t made it to breakfast and was still looking the worse for wear before we left the hotel.

I had donated beer, crisps and coke to the hotel maid as I was unable to take them on this morning’s plane to Mary. Had to ask the maid for the coke back so that Caroline could have some to help settle her stomach at Max’s suggestion.

We arrived at the domestic departures terminal of Ashgabat airport where I started worrying about the weight of my bag. Thankfully the bags were all checked in as a group, and no one commented.  Unfortunately, hand luggage also gets weighed whilst they put a tag on it. I managed to hold it off the scales long enough to not get noticed.

The president had been replaced with local pop music on the TV screens. George and William helped themselves to more coffee from the buffet. Terminal is very clean and modern. No white marble on the inside though (only outside).

Boarding the correct plane is a bit of a lottery as you walk into the tarmac apron and pick a random plane – hoping not to be run over by a mobile set of steps or other airport vehicle. Walking down the aisle with all eyes on you as the foreigner was a strange experience. The colourful headscarves sat row on row staring back at you with a pleasant and welcoming sense of curiosity. Free water and tea or coffee.

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