One guide, Talgat Omarov, laid out his camping tarp as a kilim, a prayer rug, and bowed and bowed to Mecca. He hid behind the horse while I photographed the scene—obeying a prohibition of some Islamic scholars against the artificial representation of sentient beings.
The second guide, Daulet Begendikov, hunted fossils. He picked up and threw away a 30-million-year-old shark tooth of exquisite beauty.
We stood at the ragged edge of the vast Ustyurt Plateau. A fiber-optic cable burrowed across the steppe nearby, through the cemetery of a 14th-century Silk Road caravanserai.
Milestones are regular multimedia ...