Blogs from Almaty, East Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan, Asia


Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty August 23rd 2015

a few updates:from Kim....The first day we were here, the school had bought some groceries for us. a large bottle of yellow liquid ( looked like juice or tea).... Dave took a big swig! it was cooking oil! haha. We had a box that had a picture of foamy ocean waves, we thought it was laundry soap- nope- salt. oh well, I heard that salt can clean out a dirty washing machine. We don't have a dryer- but a clothes drying rack out on the balcony worked well- we need to buy fabric softener! The people are stoic - but it isn't in a rude way- the city is big and they drive like maniacs- making three lane as from two- there are very few beggars or drunks on the streets- the women dress really nice- ... read more
First day flowers
Roses in the dining room

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty August 21st 2015

After 3 flights, 2 layovers, and 36 hours we made it here. We were picked up at the airport by the director or the school where Kim is teaching and taken to our apartment. The city is quite big compared to good old Northern Idaho. The traffic will take some getting use to. People drive like a bunch of ants on their way to food. If they have a inch to squeeze into they will and make 3 lanes where it is 2. Haven't decided if I'm going to try to drive here. There are many ways to get around here; bus, subway, taxi and good old walking. After a quick shower and a hour to unwind we went to the school and were given a quick tour. After we meet the directors and some of ... read more

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty August 21st 2015

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty July 28th 2015

Preparing for our year in Kazakhstan. Visa's are in process, house is slowly being packed and getting some last northern Idaho adventures in. Our departure date in August 8th. We are both looking forward to this adventure.... read more

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty May 20th 2015

Day 20 - Almaty and around: Yet another peculiar day. We got our admin out of the way in the morning. We knew already that driving into China was impossible without taking their own examinations, and that the controlled border area was up to 100km wide in some places, passable only with a permit. Furthermore, there is little to see or do around the Khorgos border crossing into China A good compromise to show that driving to China was indeed possible but quench our need for scenery and adventure would be to cross into Kyrgystan via the Karkara valley border checkpoint and then fill ourselves to bursting with mountains and valleys going south around Isyl Kol lake. The Karkara valley crossing is one of the most remote in the world. It was closed for many years ... read more
Gansfelsen admiring the view
Dave, Dave and Definitely Not Dave
Some idiot

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty May 19th 2015

Day 19 - Balkash to Almaty: On day 19 our luck with the police ran out. From Balkhash it was a 400 mile drive to Almaty, the old capital of Kazakhstan. The route on the M36 highway hugs the shores of Lake Balkash in an anticlock arc for 250 miles, then runs due south to the city. The grassland around was quite barren but the road began to undulate a little to relieve the monotony. We zipped along nicely on a beautiful sunny day and stopped after about 60 miles at an isolated cafe to top up on caffeine. It was the only building for 40 miles in either direction, and had three cheerful ladies in the kitchen salting and battering fish caught from the lake. At one side of the room an old man in ... read more
Balkash Lake Stone Skimming Championships
a friendly wave
A long, long road

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty April 21st 2015

I flew with Air Astana to Kazakhstan. The local carrier has most of its fleet registered on our neighbouring island of Aruba, with the code “P4”. Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan and the former capital with about 1.5 million people. Astana is the capital since 1997 but I did not go there because it’s the second coldest capital in the world and I’m not really friends with the cold. Even though it was early spring, the weather in Almaty wasn’t too cold! I think curiosity (as a Geography teacher) was the main reason for me to visit this country. The five “Stans” (part of the former Soviet Union) are very unknown and mysterious for most people because not so many people visit the region: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. You hardly hear anything ... read more
Charyn Canyon
View of the Himalaya's in northeastern Pakistan, enroute from New Delhi to Almaty

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty October 25th 2014

In Almaty, I met Rinato of couchsurfing. It was that day Saturday and we decided to go out to a good bar/club. Rinato told me that he had a problem he had not received his salary. And he wanted to pay because I was a guest. He had an idea and asked me if it would be okay for me to drive for two hours as a taxi. In Kazakhstan, it is possible to use your own car for taxi. In two hours we deserved what is 2000 Kazakh tenge was reasonable enough for some beers :)) Awesome :))) practically it was a good evening and a separate experience :)) Rinato was very hospitable and his mother was also very nice and very caring I stayed a few days with them. And they invited me to ... read more

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty August 22nd 2014

I have been told much about Almaty, a city next to Himilaya mountains. Did manage to buy some gloves and knee pads from KTM (black bike trousers too hot). But spare front tyre - they must have special deal for foriginers, jumped 40% when I found 'free wheels' bike place. But other issue is numerous roads where Motorcycles are banned, ring road & road up to hills. This 'caused my first brush with law, while trying to join ring road. Pull me in shortly demand $100, accept 50, bit cross with each other for accepting bribe, but tell me was OK. One way or another, I drove up hills to south of city past 'no bike' sign, was immediately cooler, right up past place Modeo & to top of ski lift, slept out at 2500m - ... read more
Charyn Gorge
river in gorge
Gorge scenery.

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty June 12th 2014

Zharkent Our last stop in Kazakhstan. Tomorrow we do the border crossing to China. It will take Monday and Tuesday to get all the vehicle permits finished. For me it will be the last border crossing.... read more

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