Across Kazakhstan



We woke up next to our car, which was still half buried in the sand. Relatively quickly we were able to free our car and our journey could continue. Unfortunately quite soon, the clutch broke and this time completely. Alin went to look for some help. I stayed near the car to guard our stuff.

After about half an hour Alin came back with some local man. With the help of a tractor we freed our car from the sand and then had to be pulled to the closest Toyota service, which was fortunately just 30km away in Aktau (the next closest is almost 1000km away…). When we arrived the service owner found it quite funny and even recorded everything on his mobile phone. He told us he will replace the broken clutch the next day because some parts first have to be made (!). We had no choice other than to trust whoever was responsible for “making” the necessary parts and went to find some accommodation.

Apart from the sea there isn’t much to see in Aktau, so we spent the evening playing Russian billiard – the goal is to get the ball into the hole, which however is smaller than the actual ball so a lot of strength is required…. Next day we picked our car from the service and wrote down the service phone number. When we told him about our planned journey he thought we are crazy. Next 5 days we slowly progressed on the local roads, all in disastrous condition. It reminded us of rally Dakar. The best investment one can make is a flight ticket… On our way we came across a couple of “suicide” ground squirrels, which jumped right under our wheels. From time to time we saw an eagle above our car, which always flew away as soon as Alin tried to take a picture of it.

If you are interested in what we ate – most of the time we cooked ourselves, sometimes we stopped for a dense soup and a beer in some roadhouse. The famous borsch is here mostly replaced by a different soup – lagman. It’s a vegetable broth with meat and… spaghetti. It is not only quite tasty, but also nutritious. The most common meat here is horse and ram.

We continued to Aral, especially to see the disaster called Aral sea. Once an important port, is now an ugly dusty town in the middle of a steppe. We continued further to a village called Žalanaš, about 60km west. Here we finally found the well known wrecks in the middle of a desert. We looked inside them and also took pictures of camels resting on the ground deck.

Next two days we spent near the river. Being able to swim in nice cold water was amazing. Our last important stop on the way to Almata is Turkistan. The mausoleum in Turkistan is probably the most significant sight in the entire Kazakhstan. It is a really magnificent building, but considering this is Kazakhstan at its best ensured me this country is not likely to be flooded with tourists in the near future.

What is more important, is the local people. They are extremely hospitable, especially the ones living on the countryside. Once for example, we needed water and some man took us to his house where we met his family and wanted to give us water from his house pipes. Unfortunately it was reddish and so he kept on apologizing, but still saying they make a tea from it and it is actually ok…

Příspěvek byl publikován v rubrice Kazakhstan. Můžete si uložit jeho odkaz mezi své oblíbené záložky.

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