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2009-07-31-026

48 hours

It was all well and good deciding to skip the Uzbek and Kazakh deserts and the accompanying 45-degree furnace. We still had the problem of getting three cyclists, bikes and bags all the way from Bukara to the port of Aktau in Kazakhstan. In this part of the world at least, the machinations of getting […]

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2009-07-31-003

LIVE From The Aktau Ferry Terminal

Coming to you LIVE from the ferry terminal. An as it happens blog post with bonus video. We are in our 9th hour of waiting for a ferry that apparently arrived today. For a the full story read on… I found out that the ferry had arrived after wandering in to the ticket agents office […]

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Information for Aktau, Kazakhstan

This post contains as much information about the visa and the ferry process as possible that I promised cyclists and backpackers who are are heading from East to West along a similar route to us. Anna, Ruben, Leon, Peter and James. I hope your travels are going well and this information makes your stay here […]

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The Weighting Game

The stop-start-stop cycle of visa extensions and applications has been a wearying and frustrating necessity for the BB team in the first half of our journey to Ireland. We’re sick and tired of waiting instead of riding. However, there is nothing much we can do about it. The only alternative would be to jump on […]

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Who’s Gonna Eat Your Wild Horses?

We’ve seen a lot of horses grazing by the roadsides on our way from Almaty to the Kyrgyz border. Sadly, a lot of these fine steeds are not destined for the Grand National at Aintree or a lifetime of lazy equestrianism, but rather the dinner table for Sunday lunch. Horsemeat is quite a delicacy in […]

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Stan Tours Helps Us With Visas and Routes

Relates pages for this post Azerbaijan LOI (letter of invitation) Uzbekistan LOI Stan Tours Contact information Originally our plan was to spend a whole month in Kazakhstan getting to know the culture while pedaling the entire length of the 9th biggest country, but as we have fast learned on this trip, routes through this part […]

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2009-07-01-005

Wandering the Streets of Almaty

As I mentioned in the last post, for the most part the people of Almaty are very cold and unhelpful. Their city on the other hand is gorgeous. I took an afternoon to wonder the lush tree laden streets of Almaty and walk through their numerous parks. This is some of what I saw.

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2009-07-01-005

The People on the Hill

I mentioned in my post “First Impressions Count” about how friendly the people of the Kazak country-side were. If Almaty is the first place you come don’t hold your breath. The experiences I had with the people in the 5 days that we stayed here were far from pleasant, enough so that I have no […]

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2009-06-25-105

Kazak Taxi Rides in Almaty

I thought it would be worth a mention as to how to catch a taxi in Almaty as it is definitely nothing like hailing one of the million cabs in South Korea or China. It’s relatively straight forward really. Simply stand on the road with your arm out in a downward fashion 45-75 degrees to […]

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2009-06-25-106

Cellmates

Kazakhstan fast become the land of little luxuries for Team BB- 3 nights in a real apartment, home-cooked dinners, regular food in the supermarkets. A far cry from sleeping in tents in a sun-streaked desert, washing oneself with a parboiled packet of baby-wipes. In fact, I think one or two of us would probably have […]

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2009-06-25-094

Playing House in Almaty

As mentioned in previous posts, while in Almaty a bunch of vacationing Peace Corps helped us out. One of the most useful things they taught us was that there are apartments for rent in most major cities at less than the price of a hotel room. So after spending a couple of nights in a […]

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2009-06-25-061

Belgians In The Stans

On day 3 of riding in Kazakhstan, with no water left and after a rough and windy night in the desert, we pulled in to a little oasis happy to be able to refill our bottles. While consuming various sugary drinks, two Belgian cyclists pulled up. They had just come from the Sharyn Canyon and […]

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2009-06-25-017

First Impressions Count

After clearing Kazakhstan Immigration with ease we were on the road again cycling on roads that were definitely a lot bumpier and had no shoulder like their Chinese counterparts were still well above average. We took our first break about an hour into riding under some trees beside a few country houses, which by the […]

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2009-06-25-010

Borderline Ridiculous

Crossing international borders by air is usually an efficient process. Just line up, hand your passport over, smile politely and wait for your exit or entry stamp. Oh, were it that simple to cross by land. Our trip across the frontier at Khorgos took most of the day and a most of my patience. When […]

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2009-05-26-120

Goodbye Great Wall – Hello YouTube

Now that we are well out of China there will be no more need to download and install software to watch videos on our site. All future videos of our trip will now be available on YouTube. This also means that future videos can be uploaded at a better quality. All past videos will also […]

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2009-06-25-109

Thank You Kazakhstan Peace Corps

Arriving in a big city where you don’t speak the language and have bikes and a lot of gear to drag around is a real hassle. We were fortunate to meet a bunch of the Kazakhstan Peace Corps on our first morning here. Their kindness and help meant that we were able to move into […]

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2008-08-17-026

David Goes Solo

For those of you who don’t already know, David and his bike (named Solo) have, for reasons personal to him, chosen to go it alone and take a different route to England. So at the border of Kazakhstan we said goodbye to him and he rode off into a beautiful Kazak morning. The three of […]

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Continuously Changing Route

We set out from Korea fully knowing that our travel plans would have to be fluid as they are dependent on world politics, country stability and visas. I thought I’d take a moment to let you know what we have talked about lately. Initially we had planned to go along the Southern section of the […]

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