I woke up pretty early this morning by the noise of some shepherds passing on the road above where I was camping last night. I’ve found that the best sleep I get on this trip is actually inside the tent. Last night I was so exhausted that I passed out in the tent and slept like a baby.
One thing I’m learning more and more as my journey goes on is that I’ve learned to slow down. I’m not just talking in terms of riding but in everything I do. When I first started out I’d often start the day by looking at the map and pinpointing a place I wanted to reach by the end of the day. Now I’m quite happy just riding along without any such constraints, if I see a nice roadside restaurant I’ll more often than not pull over and have a cup of tea. I still have over 2000km until I reach Russia in about 25 days but I’ve no worries about making that distance.
As I only had a short distance to ride today I rolled into Turkistan just before lunch today. It’s a small town which was recommended to me by other people who’ve passed through.
The main attraction here is the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasaw and it’s an important site for Kazakhstan’s large Muslim population. I visited it today and it’s a very impressive building as you can see from the pictures.
The rest of the day I just spent pottering around, eating and bit and obviously catching up with my blog. I’m in a small guesthouse that was recommended by the Lonely Planet but unfortunately the room is without air conditioning. Given that the average high July temperature for Turkistan is 36.5 degrees Celsius the room has more of a sauna feel to it.
I also took the opportunity to just look back on some random blogs from earlier in my trip. It's only when you do so that you really just how far and how lucky I've been so far. I've been on the road nearly four months now although it seems much longer. I have such a lot to be thankful for.
Well not much else to report. The next major place on this road is Kyzylorda (Qizilorda) some 290km away so I figure I will be there by Friday, we shall see, after all what is the hurry? After that it really does start to get very remote so I’m saving up all my empty plastic water bottles to make sure I have plenty for the long lonely ride across this section of steppe.