Wild camping so early on in our journey through Kazakhstan felt like bliss compared to sleeping on service stations in Russia. The latter are definitely rare along the main roads we’ve driven so far. The M38 linking Semey to Astana through Pavlodar brings us through vast expansion of wild undulating grasslands - there aren’t many villages or towns, just a straight road through the dry grasslands and the odd small pine forest.
We were spoilt with about 100km of pristine beautifully smooth tarmac, but then that dream came to a sudden and abrupt end. The road was closed ahead and we were forced into a diversion. And this was not just any diversion, it was a diversion going the opposite direction to the road and along a sand track into a forest. This went on for about 50km, on almost undriveable sand and gravel tracks. Then we would rejoin the new road for a few more km and then yet more horrible diversions. The dust and constant juddering of the van was almost unbearable.
|The Norman Foster designed 'Baiterek Tower'|
|I wake up in cold sweats at night thinking about this image|
|our campsite for the night, on a new bit of unopened motorway|
|our lovely little campsite for 3 nights, Hostel Nomad 4x4|
|an amazing little Uzbek bakery just around the corner - lovely flat bread|
|our German motorhome neighbours|