|We just want to say a big thank you to all who comment on our blogs it comes straight to our email and it’s great to know what you all think of our adventures, it cheers us up no end please keep them coming. The pictures have been a bit sporadic of late as we wait for a wifi connection before uploading to the site and these are harder to find.
We are still enjoying our adventures, we knew there would be tougher bits but the good bits far outway anything we’ve encountered so far. As Ted Simon said it’s the interuptions that make the journey.
Kazakhstan is growing on us the actual countryside is much the same everywhere dry dusty plains. In the North slightly more trees and water but it has been the people that make it, the attitude when we show up on the bike anywhere. We have cristened one petrol station madness, this ranges from enthusiatic questions to the entire work force gathered for a photo shoot and at one we were asked to sit in chairs at the entrance for what turned out to be a tea break with biscuits!
The question on everyones lips is accuda accuda which means where are you from, big smiles and thumbs up is the norm. We have stopped thinking something is falling off when we hear tooting they just want to say hello. One car went by twice before motioning us to pull over, one of the two enthusiatic lads then insited on giving Kev his watch and wouldn’t take no for an answer putting it in Kev’s pocket, lots of piccys later and telling them the website and our plans they drove off happy. Another occurred in Astana the capital city, queueing for the lights to change a family insited on handing over their lunch out of the car window which turned to be very tasty vegetable cornish pastys, all just to say welcome to our city. Some have been longer more meaningful encounters such as with the Actobe 4x4xterra club a nicer bunch you couldn’t wish to meet. A chance encounter at an automotive spares (Kev can’t keep away from anything remotely mechanical) led to being taken to their club workshop where we changed the oil and did a few minor repairs, we also took the opportunity to get the side stand bracket rewelded as it was splitting, they plied us with bread rolls and a typical Kazakhstan yogurt drink before personally escorting us via a supermarket to a truckers motel as we had asked. Valerey the 15 year old daughter of one, is going on an exchange trip to London on 11th July then ending up with a family in Bournemouth, she was delighted to practice her english so if anyone wishes to contact her get in touch with us. I would love her encounters in England to be as good as ours was here.
Last night we arrived in Astana found a cheap motel on the outskirts, we went down to the restaurant and engaged in a game of charades with the waitress as the menu was all in Kazakhstan. After flapping my arms and clucking and Kev using his fingers for horns and mooing much hilarity later we could hear them laughing in the kitchen when they told the chef we ended up with a lovely meal each, the best in a long time. Later a lad (Syrym) came in and started singing, we were the only people around so he specially sang one in english. We got chatting he knew a little english he then played us tunes on his dolbran? A kind of two stringed guitar (lute) steeped in history back to Gengis Khan for this we went out of the hotel to the yurt out the front so the acoustics were better and it was more authentic. He is very talented both in singing and playing and is hoping for his big break. He treated us to chai, chocolate and entertainment a fine young man.
We will be in town for Astana day tomorrow a national holiday to celebrate the towns birthday the president will be here and music and dancing in the streets sounds good to us.
Apparently the Mongolian embassy has been built and opens it’s doors on the 8th so hopefully we don’t have to go all the way to Almaty and back we will try to confirm this tomorrow. We are now 5hours ahead and it’s close to midnight again so goodnight campers.