TravellingStrom

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Archive for July 30th, 2012

Kazakhstan, Censorship and Paperwork

Posted by TravellingStrom on July 30, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

So, I had a great brekky, I was surprised, it did not look that appetising, a chicken patty with macaroni for brekky? But, it also came with ham, tomatoes and bread plus another warm meat roll, not bad tasting actually :)

Next came packing and after yesterdays stoppages for nature calls, I had purchased some new back up supplies, just in case :)

And from the following comments on FB, this was a cool subject :)

Vicki Hamilton -Strawberries are great for cleaning your teeth.. perhaps someone has actually discovered what else they keep clean and fresh..
Barbara Tom -Now even your farts will smell nice with continued use of this brand ;-)
Guy Basile -It’s not the flavor you idiot. That the texture :-)
Frank Butler -You should have asked for Date flavor….oh have I gone too far, again ?
Alan Littlefield -You have always been a man of special needs.

Anyway, that is enough of the early morning toilet humour, once I got all my shit(paper) packed away it was off out of town and straight into a road detour where I was going to be forced to go around while all the buses get to go over the bridge. But, he was nice to me and let me go, goodonya m8 :)
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The road from the hotel basically followed the river until it hit the bridge, to go around would have been a major nightmare of a detour, as I told the cop, my GPS says go that way for Kazakhstan! And I did, it was only a few hundred kms to get to the border and the road was straight and with gentle rolling low hills, it in fact reminded me of the trip between Camoweal and the Three Ways crossing back home, the wind was strong and blowing from left to right, there was bugger all to see except a few cows on occasion with a few cars and trucks in the mix as well.

So, after 2 hours I was at the exit point and here met up with a Kazak chap who proceeded to help me with the paperwork procedure. It was pretty easy except the bits that were not in English(most of it). I explained by pointing I needed new insurance for Kaz and he mimed to follow him through to the other side, so I would do that of course, mind you the road through the border point was terrible, but I am used to that by now :)

Those little donga’s are where you get or pay for the various insurance and other paperwork needs of the travellers. So, I had got my insurance, very cheap only $11 for 15 days and I could have bought a 30 day one for an extra $5, but I was out of Rubles, they took my last ones, so I will have to buy some more later on, make sure I don’t forget eh! Although a bribe can work in this country I hate paying them, it makes it hard for other travellers later!!! Saying thanks to my new friend I headed off into Borat country, and I can see out here in this heat why a mankini would be handy, except there is no water! It was only 50km of this before arriving in the town of Uralsk where I had pre-booked a hotel, with the bike security high on the agenda, but the first thing I needed was an ATM to get some Tenge’s, apparently most servos will only take cash and there was no money machines at the border. As I got close to the hotel I spotted a Donar shop so grabbed a feed, I was starved again and had no lunch, just that leftover roll thing I was given for breakfast. Then when I hopped back on the bike, it turns out the hotel was 100m away, doh, I could have checked in and walked!! But, the donar place did have wifi, so I checked my mail which is sort of urgent until we get China sorted one way or the other.

There are only two safe choices of hotel in town and this one is the cheaper, Hotel Pushkin, but still a bit pricey, but I booked in and then, when I parked the bike out back I met up with two Italian bike riders who were doing some maintenance. These are Lorenzo and Federico, nice to meet you chaps :)

So, it was not long after I settled in that we were off down the road for some beers. These two had ridden down to the Aral Sea in the past few days and had planned to go further, but their time was running out so they came back up and are heading home via Russia for the next few weeks. They had a paper map and showed me a few things, especially areas where there is fuel and some extreme rough sections due to detours around road construction, into the scrub here for many kms, that does not sound good, but they did donate the map for my cause, thanks lads! But, if I want to go to Almaty via the Baikonor region, I would have to deal with it. The beers were good, plus because they had befriended the Italian manager of the hotel(and got cheap rooms the mongrals) they also became friendly with some of the staff and we were soon joined by Tatyana and Katerina for some pizza and more beer before heading down town to another cafe for more of the same. Here I encountered the Navigator, at 8.4% quite potent, I guess you need a Navigator to get home :)

So yes, it was a late evening, but who cares eh, I had already decided to spend another night here just for the paperwork issue, it goes like this: You get an immigration bit of paper as you enter the border, it says on the back(in English) you have to register within 5 days of entering the country. I had done this at the desk, but when I queried it it turns out this hotel does not process this. I assumed(bad word) that when it says register it means at the hotel, but no, the Russian language version on the back says you must register at the local police station. So, when we checked, of course it had gone closing for this process, so that meant staying in town until 3pm tomorrow when they open again, or wait until Aktobe. Well, I had no idea which way I was going yet, I had 25 days of my Kazak visa to use and had no real plans. And with the internet access via wifi being an issue here, I also needed to look into a local SIM card for mail and Facebook. So, being a bit blurry, I had a great shower before hitting the sack.

Cheers from Uralsk, Kazakhstan
TravellingStrom

Posted in Around The World, Eurasia | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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