I crossed the Sarakhs border on the 4th of october.
Arrived by train from Mashhad in Sarakhs, jumped into some kind of minibus (I don't think it was public transportation as no one paid in the bus and there were only men, but the driver kindly dropped me directly in front of the border control).
First control, nice people talking to me about the sanctions and offering me tea and cookies while cheking my passport.
Then, I walked to the actual border checkpoint. Here, something quite surprising happened, as I never read anyone mentioning that. A men asked me to come in his office (as I learned later, he was a nurse) and asking me to do a HIV rapid test ! (I probably have to mention here that I am a solo woman traveler) Don't know if I could have say no, I was a bit chocked and offended, he showed me pictures to explain me how I could get HIV (tattoos, drugs injections, brushing my teeths -??!!-, and a picture of a pregnant woman -I guess it stands for sexual intercourse, but yes, it's Iran...) So, as the result was negative I could leave his office (I am really wondering what would have happened if it has been positive, as I was already leaving the country...)
Then quick check of my bag (really quick), few questions, and exit stamp.
From there, a man wants to take you in his minibus (say no, he asks 2 $ for about 200 meters !)then first meeting with young turkmen soldiers, minibus (mandatory, didn't pay anything though)
At the turkmen border, had to pay the 14 $ entry tax, really quick check of my bag (I had 6 packs of cigarettes from Iran, not hidden, they didn t say anything) mostly interested by medicine (I directly said that I didn t have any codein and the woman was satisfied), questions about where I was gonna stay (I just lied and said I would stay in Mary then go in Turkmenabat to cross the Uzbek border), fingerprints, pictures, and stamp
After the border, few taxi drivers, I managed to reach Mary for 15 $ (there was no one to share the price with)
The whole process took around 2,5 hours and they were all really kind and polite (well, except this strange nurse with his surprise HIV test !)