This was my first experience of travelling in Central Asia and with Wild Frontiers. Neither disappointed! The history and the architecture in places like Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are everything you might expect but other highlights included Ashgabat - it's every bit as weird as advertised !!!! and the gas crater - because where on earth else can you camp next to a massive fiery hole in the ground?
As an aside, it seems to be the trend now amongst many tour companies to dispense with a Western tour leader and just use local guides and I suspect it is driven primarily by profit. I think the role is extremely important so full marks to Wild Frontiers for supplying one in addition to local guides, and I cannot praise Antonia highly enough.