We finished up at Altyn-Emel National Park and said our goodbyes to the Czech guys who we had been trailing for a few days.We made our way back to Almaty via Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan’s biggest lake and stopped to camp for the night.
Between Lake Balkhash and Almaty is a place called Kapshagay.
Kapshagay is home to about half of Kazakhstan’s Casinos; after the government moved them all here (And one other location) in a bid to curb gambling in the cities. It has been nicknamed ‘Kaz Vegas’ and is the oddest place ever, in the middle of nowhere surrounded and surrounded by dust.
We stopped in to ARB Almaty once again as we needed to do a service and tweak a few things on the car. We spent half a day there using their hoist and all their equipment. They refused to charge us. Kazakhstan’s hospitality at its best. Jess impressed the lads with her skills on the car and her metalworking background so much that they offered her a job! You never know hey….
We stayed in Almaty for the last time and caught up with our Aussie mates Tim and Nic – who introduced us to an English overland couple (Georgie and Simon) who are working their way back to the UK after working in South Korea for 4 years.
All six of us appear to be traversing the Pamir Highway at the same sort of time in Tajikistan so we made some plans to meet up near Osh, Kyrgyzstan and cross the Tajik border together for some convoy action in a few weeks time.
We also took the Kok-Tobe cable car up to the base of the mountains from the edge of Almaty – missing the sunset but what a great view.
The next leg of our trip will take us into Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and over the Pamir Highway – the second highest road at 4655m. Kazakhstan has blown us away but we are ready to move on. Lets see what happens next 😉
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