I’m in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, visiting the Uzbek arm of the Aral Sea. I had visited the Kazakh arm of the sea in 2015, so I was curious to see the Uzbek side.

Unfortunately there was heavy rain the night before the trip, so the normally extremely bad dirt tracks became extremely muddy, extremely bad, dirt tracks.  It was a long and difficult drive to get to the Aral Sea yurt camp.  My Toyota Land Cruiser and its driver both had to struggle hard to get us safely through.

But anyway, I got to stay at an extremely muddy Yurt Camp and got a good view over the remaining, shrinking, Uzbek lobe of the Aral Sea.

On the way there, we passed through the once-prosperous fishing port of Moynaq.  But the sea walked away and the fisheries failed.  Many of the old fishing boats are preserved in the (in)famous Ship Graveyard on the old sea bed.

The dry Southern bed of the sea now has lots of scattered oil and gas derricks, making for a fine post-catastrophe sight.

(Just between us, I admit the mud was partly my own fault.  I had offered a slice of Napoleon cake to Poseidon the day before.  I hadn’t realized just how large and how delicious it would be.  And then of course it rained heavily that night.)