By the time this posts I will have started my journey back to the U.S. from Balkanabad. First, a short flight back to Ashgabat, an evening there, then a red-eye to Frankfurt via Baku, and ending with a nice nonstop to SFO. (I can taste the airline miles and they will taste like premium status after a couple more rotations. Perhaps this time I can avoid ending up in a middle seat.)
This first hitch through Turkmenistan has been a little longer than the prescribed seven weeks and that is fine by me. It was a good run with a lot of atypical challenges which I can envision becoming typical challenges. Carrying over the sentiment from last week, this has been really great. I look forward to being back in California and I look forward to coming back here in about three weeks.
In the meantime, it's time to see family and friends, eat some different food, and generally have a good time. Maybe I'll sprinkle in just enough work to make sure I have a good transition back and all will be good.