Our Land Rover sits a little too close for comfort on the very edge of one of the ‘mud holes’ at Dervaza (Turkic for “The Gate”) on the Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan border. These enormous sinkholes go down for hundreds of meters and open up into vast pools of molten earth. One has to take care of the wind direction; noxious gases that emanate from them can easily cause asphyxiation. Or more importantly not to get out on the passenger side. That first step is a long way down.