• Neil Padilla

Grains of Sand and the Marvelous Yangykala

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Earth is 4.5 billion years old. It took us a long time to figure it out, but we now know how old our planet is.

A view of the Earth from outerspace
Earth From Outer Space

Philosophers like Aristotle, religious leaders like Martin Luther, and many others tried to offer different schools of thought with regard to the age of this rock we’re living in with many believing that it is fairly young since they did not have any evidence, at least back then, of times beyond what they can historically remember.

Compared to this new discovery, the human race’s 200,000- year stay here has been but a tiny bleep in the entirety of the existence of the planet – barely insignificant.

Thinking about this disparity, one can get a daunting feeling of how small we are in the vastness of it all. It can be overwhelming yet empowering at the same time. It can also give clarity about the important things in life.

Let’s just try to unpack how incredibly profound this is.

Many of us spend so much time putting value on things that, in the long run, do not really matter. We tend to forget what’s important: time with family and friends, doing something you love, enjoying the fruits of your labor or even the simple act of resting are only some of the things we sacrifice along the way in our pursuit of the next goal in the horizon.

The majority of the human race now lives at breakneck speeds with everything being just a click away. Everything should be easier. If you want food delivered – there are a lot of apps for that. The same goes for many other activities like transportation. We even go on dates now with the help of the internet.

It should all feel so easy. Why then do we feel so tired all the time?

I don’t know if it’s just me but do you ever get the sense that everything we chase after tends to escape us? There is always that next deadline, that next promotion, that next #goal that we never stop to smell the proverbial roses.

There is a lesson here. Like a hound in the race track, we always run after the stuffed animal in front of us. We go after it with complete abandon of what’s around us. What would happen when that stuffed rabbit is removed from the equation? Would we even know who we are when removed from the context of our busy lives and what’s the point of running everywhere when you never get to have moments of respite?

Natural wonders like The Andes Mountains in Bolivia, Mt. Fuji in Japan or the Grand Canyon in the Americas can bring about this sense of awe. Perhaps one of the best places to experience this is at the Yangykala Gorge in Turkmenistan.

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Yangykala Canyon Turkmenistan

5.5 million years ago, this entire landscape in the outer reaches of Turkmenistan was underwater. As the water dried out, the rest of the elements began their work in corroding the rock deposits that were left behind. This impressed upon such a unique and beautiful look to the resulting gorges.

The limestone deposits here give off a variety of hues; from soft pinks and striking reds. Shades of yellow and orange also appear all of which enhance the overall beauty of the place. One could argue that the planet has a lot of time to do such changes, that it does not need to feed and clothe itself like you and I do but that would be the narrow way of looking at it.

The planet needed more than 5 million years of change to create such marvel. Compared to this, we are nothing but grains of sand in a desert. With the little time we have on this planet, do you really want to spend most of it tiring yourself out?

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Located about 6 to 7 hours from Turkmenistan's capital of Ashgabat, it can be admittedly difficult to go to Yangykala. It is so far-flung that the native population largely have not even been to this place. You’d have to go through desolated roads in order to take in the gorge’s magnificence but those who take this journey will find that it is well worth the effort.

One can say that with the advent of the internet, the world has become a much smaller place. There are very few locations in the world that can be considered far-flung yet this is one such place in Turkmenistan.

Throughout the ages, these rock formations have remained silent witnesses to a civilization it would most likely outlast. We will be long back in the dust before these beautiful gorges themselves recede back into the ground.

Let us make it easy for you to visit Yangykala. Book with CentrAsia Tours Travel Agency today!


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