We left Barnaul in Russia at the crack of dawn. We went to get some fuel and was asked by a local for a wheel brace as his had snapped. We offered to help and ended up breaking our own, so we needed to find a replacement pretty sharpish as we were about to enter full on off roading. read more »
p87: we spent a good day and a half in Almaty to rest up, we snoozed the morning away and was needed. The next day we decided to drive to Semey in one day which was over 1000 km’s of rough roads, some roads were nice rolling hills in the mountains, some plain flat grasslands. We caught up with NAG Mongols and Pommes express. We had a small convoy with the NAG’s but only because they would not let us pass them :)…at that point it was starting to get late and decided to go to barnaul overnight. The road going in to semey at night was aweful… Lights on the truck are poor and was a dangerous experience due to no road markings and stupid dazzling lights passing cars. read more »
P50: we have just arrived in Almaty, very busy place, surrounded by mountains. We looked for hotels but was hard work at rush hour. We are now having a day off as we have been working hard since prague, even then it still involved driving. So we are not gonna drive at all and just chill and sleep and eat lots. Eating is difficult so we have both lost weight, the mongol slim fast diet contains no breakfast, small evening meal and lots of driving. I got stopped twice by the rozzers again today, big smile from myself and a handshake did the trick and we were sent on or way. Big moutains too way which looked gorgeous. Lovely mountain roads too. Sunday we are aiming for semey, not sure if it is possible to do in a long day? read more »
Early start away from the dirty hotel we stayed at, first impressions were good but in the rooms it was falling apart and when I pulled my bed sheet back there were bed bugs running across. Next day We drove all day to taraz and we have a Nice room. Dan got fined for speeding which worked out about 4 dollars from 75 originally asked. We also got stopped 3 times. Mostly to shake hands. We drank some holy water and had our vehicle blessed by this guy who had gold teeth and is also a boxer... When I shook his hand I could feel loose bones. Tommorow we are in almaty and we will have a day off as we are getting quite tired. So 11 police stops, 1 fine, 1 souvenir, 1 tip to police for helping us with police escort. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
We stayed in a hotel in Aqtobe, really run down, but the city was ok, we ate in a nice turkish restaurant. As we had been up for 48 hours we decided to head back for some sleep... Only to realise there was an outside function until 12.30, so i went out for a beer with some guys who were riding motorbikes to china. We slept well afterwards regardless of noise. Next day we ate the crap breakfast and set off, we hit some nice smooth roads until suddenly whilst doing 80 I hit really rough road and almost launched off the ground. From that we hit about 100kms of off road pot holes the size of the car, it took ages and the truck took a beating but survived. read more »
We pushed on through russia, stayed in a few small towns. Yesterday we knew we were going to the border so we decided to wack a fair few miles on the clock and do an all nighter. When approaching the town at the border we though it would be a good idea to fuel up. It was 11 pm and the garages were manned by women in kiosks in pitch black darkness. No hope of finding one we asked a local and then the rozzers pulled up and gave us an escort to fuel station. We gave the cops a tip for helping us out. We reached the border at 12 and what a pain... We had to fill out forms that were in russian.. Turns out another team passed through that day and we used their forms as a template... Scarey moment when they searched the car and nearly found my hidden cash. read more »
Yesterday we spent 7 hours at the border in massive queues, blistering heat with no food and very little water, we then had to drive 300k to a city, we were hungry, thirsty and tired. Today we are heading for saratov and may be at the kaz border for today or get in early tommorow. Last few days have been very hot, road heat got to 48. No more nice hotels from here for a while we reckon. Russian locals are much nicer than ukraines. We found that if you smile and mention chelsea then they seem to like you. No fines or bribes yet, we had one pull by the police but we mentioned chelsea and he smiled and said "good work" and off we went. Truck is good, no problems yet.
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