Barnaul > Rubtsovsk 299km > Semey Kazahkstan 156km
A very flat agricultural part of the country as we exit Russia.
Took us 2 hours to get through the border crossing, most of that time waiting in a queue to get into the Russian side – Kazakhstan was very efficient.
And so now we are in our next country, Kazakhstan.
The land is flat, some agriculture but a lot of empty space also.
Went for a bit of a walk around our neighbourhood in Semey
An avenue dedicated to Lenin – all statues/busts of him in one of the nearby parks.
They do great parks in the cities in these countries, the community regularly walk through them and meet up with friends. It is the place of courting too on a park bench.
Lots of these around – very popular for weddings
The people here are just fabulous! Nothing is too much trouble. With the recent changes to NZ not needing a visa, we weren’t sure whether we still needed to register being here with the Immigration/Police, as has been the case in the past. We decided better to do so than not, and when enquiring at the hotel reception, another guest offered to take us in his car to the Police Station. People always toot and wave as they pass on the road, including a truck giving his loud airhorn a big blast. When we arrived in the town we had decided to stop at and were looking at our directions for a hotel, a man stopped and next thing we were following him to the hotel. In the supermarket queue we asked the family in front of us “vody bez gaza” (water without gas), “nyet nyet” and next thing they were all sorting through the stock to find us what we were after – so very kind, everyone we have met – the two bikers at different gas stations who were so helpful, the lovely staff in the hotels, the list goes on.
Semey > Ayakoz 352km
Last night there was a great display of an electrical thunderstorm, and again this morning there was another storm brewing. It was soooo hot, 24deg and very humid by 8:30. We decided to make a run for it and hopefully miss the rain, which we managed to do most of the day – it was falling heavily both to the left and right of us.
It was pretty cool watching the fork lightening flashing (at a distance) as we rode our motorbikes through the empty countryside of Kazakhstan.
Some of the roads are bumpy with potholes, but they are fun on our bikes.
To get petrol you have to pay over some money, they release the petrol to be pumped, then you get the change back when finished. They are well locked away, you put the money into a little drawer and the change comes back in it.