The Gates of Hell

It was getting toward the end of the afternoon and we had been driving northwards all day. We were now half way across the Karakum Desert. We were going to spend the night in a small tent next to another crater. This one was also caused by a gas-drilling accident. However, this time the gas caught fire and has continued to burn ever since.

Looking at the gas crater from a distance.

Some Italian tourists by the crater. They had travelled from China.

It was so hot near the edge you could hardly stand there. You could only go near the edge on the up-wind side of the crater. Otherwise the wind blew the heat into your face. It was very, very hot!

Some Turkmen tourists messing about. Later on they caught a goat and killed it!

Fire at the bottom of the crater. The gates of hell!

As the sun went down the light from the crater shone more brightly.

You can see the steam and fumes rising off it.

From a distance it was just a thin bright line of light illuminating the steamy plume of fumes that rose from it.

We ate some food and slept in a tent. There is a risk of dangerous insects and snakes in this desert! Although no tourists have been killed yet!

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