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Aral - Someplace 85km

sunny

It was a little hard to leave my beautifully air-conditioned room this morning but like I’ve said before these kilometres aren’t going to ride themselves.

I said goodbye to Mirko and wished him luck as he headed south to more civilization but I fear worse roads. As we said our goodbyes we joked as to which way the wind would favour today. I’m not sure how it worked out for him but it blew and blew hard in my face all day long from the moment I got onto the main road.

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On the plus side the road wasn’t too bad but the wind certainly hampered my progress. I’m also carrying significantly more water now, about 12 litres. I’m very conscious of the fact that I need to as I’d hate to run out of water in a place like this. Mirko told me to expect cafes every 80-100 kilometres but I’m certainly not taking any chances.

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The landscape was flat, barren and totally without people. It was so remote in fact that there is also no mobile phone coverage out here which compounded the sense of isolation.

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Nice road but where is everyone?

Due to my late start I found that after 85km today I’d had enough. Luckily I found a couple of houses just off the road. The family who lived there ran two businesses; a farm and also a station for changing oil.

Right from the outset they were very kind and the presence of a young daughter and grandmother convinced me that this would be a good place to sleep for the night. I put up the tent beside the house as they went about their business.

The grandmother came out from the house later with perhaps the largest watermelon I have ever seen and began slicing it up. I was invited over to join in as the sun went down behind us.

As the evening went on the trucks stopped pulling in but the noise they created was replaced by all the animals who returned back to the farm. It was a little hard to sleep throughout the night, it was almost like a symphony of different animal noises, in particular the bulls who seemed to be settling issues amongst themselves as I tried to sleep. The owners also had a number of dogs who roamed around the area occasionally getting into some kind of scuffle. As you can imagine I didn’t have the best nights sleep.

Posted by Ontheroadagain 21:25 Archived in Kazakhstan

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