I'm in Aral having arrived here yesterday afternoon after a short 90km ride from the lake.
Immediately on arrival I met another fellow cyclist a German by the name of Mirko. There were also 2 other foreigners in the hotel a Dutch guy and a fellow Brit but they departed last night by train.
Nevertheless it was nice to have dinner all together and a small chat.
I was also able to swap notes with Mirko on the upcoming road to Aktobe and vice versa give him some advice on what to expect as he heads south.
I'm in another of those gloriously Soviet style hotel with a drip as a shower. On the plus side it has AC and a soft bed. No Internet though and I'm currently typing this on my itouch using a very weak wi-fi signal from a nearby Government building.
The updates on my daily travel are finished now but due to the slow Internet connection they and the photos I've taken will probably have to wait until I get to Aktobe about 6 days away.
Mirko has already given me a heads u p on a cheap hotel there which, praise the Lord also has Internet.
All is good, the roads continue to be a source of great frustration but there is nothing I can do about that. Apparently though 100km north of Aral the road improves significantly.
Okay back off to the hotel with my huge water melon and AC.