Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan
Day 15 - Saturday, 6 May 2000

This day began very early since our flight to Istanbul departed Tashkent at 3:30 AM. We arrived at Istanbul's fabulous new international terminal at 6:30. Once through passport control and after picking up our luggage we took taxis to the Ayasofya Hotel.

We had expected to spend the night here but it was not to be. They were fully booked. However, after we had eaten breakfast, they arranged for us to stay at another nearby hotel, at Ayasofya prices. It was a good deal, a more upscale hotel and very comfortable. We promptly went to sleep and slept most of the rest of that day and that night. Jim had an intestinal upset; he said he had been feeling unwell since the farewell dinner.

Sunday, 7 May 2000

Fortunately he was better by the next morning. Sleep helps. We went back to Ayasofya for breakfast with Meli, and then to the airport.

It was a very long day. From our hotel in Istanbul, through three flights to Sacramento, it was 24 hours long. Night followed us, moving over the surface of the earth more swiftly than we did in airplanes. It caught up with us as we flew from Salt Lake City to Sacramento. It was midnight before we finally were able to sleep in our bed again.

It took a full week to fully recover. It will take much longer to assimilate all that we learned and experienced on this trip.

- End of Diary -