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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

DAY 5, CHALDYBAR – MERKE – KORDAY – ALMATY (780KM)

26th May 2013
 
 
I didn’t get a very good sleep due to the chill so I ended up waking up a bit late, and that is because I heard the sound of foot steps outside my tent. I unzipped my tent and poked outside to see a local with a binocular hanging on his neck looking at me as if he had seen an alien. He talked to me in his local language which I couldn’t understand.  I talked to him using the basic Russian words that I have learnt. Then, with hand signals, I asked him if he can get me some water? He nodded, took my bottles and walked fast to a direction. Within minutes, he was out of sight. I had a light breakfast of sweet bun and after that started to pack my tent. The man came back 15 minutes later (meaning that his house was not very near) with the refilled bottle. I thanked him and continued with my packing. The man insisted to help until I am done strapping everything on the bike.

I said good bye to him and rode back the same way to Merke. I stopped in front of the same supermarket, and was hesitating if I should go to the internet cafe or not. Within seconds, local people started to surround me and asked all sorts of questions. I answered the one which I could understand. They even asked if I were Muslim, and upon saying “yes”, they were so happy and asked me if I am hungry. Since I just had my breakfast and I have a long way to cover today, I have to politely refuse the offer. Again, to my surprise, they started to give me money and asked me to buy food. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry, but I thanked them for their kindness. I forgo the idea of checking the internet cafe and headed to A359, before turning left to M39 again. I saw lots of sheep, yellow flower beds and some yurts along the way.
Notice the guy with the red sweater is holding a bill under the memento calendar
Rush hour...
According to my map, the M39 highway will take me into Kyrgyzstan and back into Kazakhstan, and I am worried because I only have a single entry Kazakh visa. However, during my ride, Kazakh government had actually built a new highway, which at parts were still under construction (which I am riding on) and this new highway does not exist in my GPS at all. I have no idea of my where about then, but I keep on riding. Out of a sudden, I reached Korday (another Kazakh – Kyrgyz border), meaning that the new highway did not enter Kyrgyzstan at all. Thank god.

It says..."Kazakhstan - 2050"
I then turned left to Almaty. The road was nicely paved (at last) and cut through a very beautiful mountain. The wind suddenly blew stronger and the strong head wind didn’t allow me to speed more than 60kmh even though I have pressed the throttle to the maximum. From a distance, I saw windmills, and I decided to check it out. The wind was so strong here that DREAM was unstable after I had settled him on its stand. It felt as  the wind almost blown both of us away.
Finally....nice paved road...

 
I didn’t stay long as I felt very cold due to the wind chill. I braved the wind and continued riding, enjoying the superb scenic view of the mountain, valleys and pink flower beds.
Its only 18'C, but felt sooo cold due to the wind chill...

The road to Almaty deteriorated with lots of pot holes and bad patches. There were also lots of police patrol cars by the road side, waiting to catch anyone speeding over limit. There was one time that I was stopped. I knew that I have sped over limit (the speed limit was ridiculous...it was 70 on a nice paved road, but 90 on a bad road), but seeing that I’m a female and riding alone, once I gave Salam and spoke a little Russian, the admiration make the policeman waved me off without issuing me a fine. LOL...

It says...."Almaty Province"
Once I arrived Kaskelen, I searched for an internet cafe because I need to check the location of Apple Hostel in Almaty. I was very lucky that the owner and his son could speak a little English. After checking the location in Google map, the son helped me to locate Apple Hostel in my GPS which had all the street names written in Cyrillic alphabet. After that, I continued with my ride heading to Almaty. It was peak hour and there were lots of traffic on the road. I was upset with my GPS because it kept directing me to slip road and a one way street, which ended up at a dead end and a big pond in front of me. I turned back and try to find another way. After going round and round for 30 minutes, I finally found the building, but where is the hostel? I asked a local to help me calling the hostel, and after 5 minutes, the hostel’s owner came to meet me. Her name is Alicia and she spoke good English. She was very nice and friendly. The hostel was very comfortable and has a nice lobby and kitchen. It also has a free wifi, and I ended up sleeping at 3am. I am an internet maniac....haihhh...

p/s: A more detailed story about my journey will be told in my upcoming book.....more beautiful pics of course.....STAY TUNED.....
 


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NASTIA

Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')
HAK CIPTA ANITA YUSOF