Blogs from Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan, Asia

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Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda April 26th 2015

Yes, I spent 36 hours in the train! It was a comfortable train with berths to sleep on, including their linen, blankets and pillows. The people I met in the train, from my own compartment and also from neighbouring compartments, were very friendly and of course many of them took pictures with me. These people shared their food and drinks with me, even though it was not easy to communicate with most of them. A truly great experience with warm, friendly and hospitable Kazakh people. After 36 hours I arrived in Aralsk and it was around 8am. My guide, Zhasulan, was already waiting at the station and he took me to my home-stay where I took a shower and had a nap on a proper bed. I was treated very well by the family and my ... read more
Zhalanash shipyard; remnants of a ship sitting on what used to be the bottom of the Aral Sea
Driving through the Aral Sea area; a vast emptiness
Almaty 1 station, where I took the train

Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda August 23rd 2013

Fri 23 aug 2013 Arrived just outside Aralsk After breakfast, it was long hot drive towards Aralsk. I checked into the only hotel in Aralsk for about 6000 Tenge or about £20. The hotel decor must have dated back to the soviet 60’s mixed in with a hotel corridor scene from ‘The shining’ produced by Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson - dated and a bit scary. There was no shower in the room or outside, so had to have a ’sponge bath’. Sat 24 aug 2013 The next morning I hoped for a quick getaway. So once the SatNav was set up and the vehicle checked, I was heading for Taraz. I encountered a checkpoint just outside Aralsk, so went through the usual document check. Then one of the officer asked me to visit the office. ... read more

Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda August 21st 2013

My plan was to re-join the Silk Road in Southern Kazakhstan / Northern Kyrgyzstan in the city called Taraz. So from Aktobe I had to head Southeast on the M32 to the city of Taraz some 1050 miles away. Yes, Kazakhstan is a very very big country. The car is running smoothly. The thermometer inside the cabin normally reads 45 degrees centigrade. There is no air-conditioning in the vehicle. Ventilation was provided by opening the 2 front windows. I would be sweating all day and my back is always wet from the sweat. If water was not in shortage, I would pour some water onto the footwell and it would evaporate in a few minutes - the footwell was hot. Outside was very hot and dusty. I was breathing in so much dust that slowly but ... read more
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Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda August 20th 2013

Tue 20 aug 2013 After a good night rest somewhere near Shubarkuduk, I emerged from the local ГОСТИНИЦА, I crossed the road to the cafe for some food. I set my SatNav for Oktyabrsk, my next destination. 10 minutes later on the road, I saw a stranded motorist seeking help from other motorists but no one stopped to help. Before the start of my journey, I made a pledge to help someone on this trip if I can. Knowing that there was no AA or its Kazakh equivalent, this motorist is in real trouble, so I stopped to help. The man tried to explain to me that the engine has failed with no prospect of roadside repair. He asked for a tow to the nearest big city of Aktobe more than 100 miles away. I initially ... read more

Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda August 18th 2013

Sun 18 and Mon 19 aug 2013 From the hotel car park, I set the SatNav to my next destination Oktyabrsk. After a comfortable night, showered, fed, and a clean supply of clothing, I felt good and ready to move on closer to China. I know now that I am only a few days away from reaching the last country on my long journey. The SatNav took me towards the Northeast direction along the A27. I thought, it will be fine, just another day of driving. Trouble came a few hours later when the tarmac road turned into a dirt track. I thought, there was no need to turn back, the car can handle this sort of off-road driving. Adding to my trouble, it must have rained heavily recently because all the dirt has turned into ... read more
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Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda » Aralsk July 5th 2008

Saturday 24 May - Kizilorda to Shiyeli, 134 km Up at 5.30, no shower as water cold. A long day, but not too bad. Nice green bushes and small rivers the early part of the day, but later back to dry steppe. The road was good and we had a following wind. Today we cycled in our groups; the Reds let me go ahead with Jean-Jacques and we had a good day. We had a bit of a wait at lunchtime, stopped for some time before the van arrived, which was a big waste of time in the middle of the day. Arrived in good time at Shiyeli. We stayed in a youth camp in the middle of town. It was divided into big rooms with 15 beds each, a bit close together but pleasant and ... read more
Three little boys 250508
Red team at the 2008 milestone
Welcome ladies at Shimkent 280508

Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda July 2nd 2008

Tuesday 20 May - Toretam to Josali, 88 km My big bag did not turn up in the lorry yesterday, but I found it this morning hidden behind some cardboard in the second lorry for some reason. Had to do some hasty luggage sorting and also get a new chain on my bike before leaving. Claude managed to rip the school gate off with the lorry, not a very good return for their hospitality! Very hot - 42 degrees in the afternoon. I had threequarter trousers and a lo g-sleeved shirt to keep the sun off. At 65 km we stopped for lunch at a museum complex where there was some shade and an icecream seller. The place is a memorial to Korkyt, an ancient thinker, musician and humanist. The museum was small but nice, mostly ... read more
Jalaghash girls 210508
Bike wash 230508

Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda July 2nd 2008

Tuesday 20 May - Toretam to Josali, 88 km My big bag did not turn up in the lorry yesterday, but I found it this morning hidden behind some cardboard in the second lorry for some reason. Had to do some hasty luggage sorting and also get a new chain on my bike before leaving. Claude managed to rip the school gate off with the lorry, not a very good return for their hospitality! Very hot - 42 degrees in the afternoon. I had threequarter trousers and a lo g-sleeved shirt to keep the sun off. At 65 km we stopped for lunch at a museum complex where there was some shade and an icecream seller. The place is a memorial to Korkyt, an ancient thinker, musician and humanist. The museum was small but nice, mostly ... read more
Bike wash 230508

Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda » Aralsk September 12th 2007

At the outskirts of Kyzylorda we camped at a private compound of an old man sheep herder, we asked permission to stay the night cause we can't find any suitable spot to camp. He agreed and we set our tents up quickly. He joined us a few moments later, ever curious on what we are doing, Sasha asked me if I could spare the Taraz vodka I bought earlier to give to our host, It wasnt a problem to me and so handed him a cup full of vodka and he downed it like it's water! And then some more, he got drunk pretty quickly and got a little bit touchy feely, He talks to me but in Russian so I just stare at him, Sasha said he is taking a liking to me because I ... read more
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