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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan - 24 August, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Bush camp (near border with Kazakhstan) N4248.443' E07331.087' 764 meters .
Kyrgyzstan - Kazakhstan border . . . .
Kazakhstan - Uzbekistan border . . . .
Finish Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Orzu Hotel) N4117.526' E06915.845' 429 meters 511 km

Total:

3,018 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny and very hot (about 40C).  Hazy.

 

 

It is a long driving day with two border crossings, so we are up early.  The alarm goes off just before 5 AM, we pack up our tent and then go and get breakfast ready.  It is still dark when we get up and as we are preparing breakfast we have the privilege of seeing the full moon set in the west and the sun rise in the east.  It is magical.  We also get to see our camp site for the first time in daylight.  Actually not too bad.  We have a simple breakfast - Bread, cereal, berries, melon and hot drinks.

 

Once we have packed everything away, we are on our way at 7 AM.  It is only a short drive to the border and then we take almost two hours to get across.  Actually not too bad for these types of countries.  Kyrgyzstan is quite easy, but Kazakhstan makes us get our bags out and go through personally with our bags.  But we are through and drive on our way through Kazakhstan.  We are just north of the border and it is a good short cut to get back to Tashkent.

 

As we drive, it just keeps getting hotter and hotter.  As we sit in the truck and just drive and drive through the semi-arid desert, we get more and more lethargic.  The best break of the day is for lunch.  We find a nice spot by the side of the road with some shade and eat up what food we have left.  Then back in the truck and more driving in the afternoon heat.  The one interesting part of the afternoon is when we get stopped at one of the may check points (by the way, in addition to the red baton, here they also love to use their whistles).  He claims that we did something wrong and said tat we would have to pay a fine.  We said that we did not and there was a bit of a stand-off.  In the end, he asked for a pen and a map of Tashkent and let us go.  Go figure that.

 

We finally reach the Kazakhstan side of the border just before 6 PM.  It is a tedious exit - they make us fill out more forms and get out some bags and go through some x-ray machines.  Whatever it takes to make them happy.  As we approached the Uzbekistan side, there was a tire wash that we had to go through.  The only problem was that the car in front of us got stuck in one of the drains - they were all in bad shape and cars must get stuck all the time.  It was a Lada, so we had no troubles lifting him out of the drain and help him on his way.  Doing our bit for good international relations.

 

Once through the wash, we start the formalities.  This takes us a bit over an hour, but we also have to turn our watches back an hour, so we almost come out ahead!!!  Then it is on to Tashkent.  It takes us about 45 minutes to get there.  We settle back into the Orzu Hotel, have a shower and then meet some people in the bar for a drink and a light snack.  Then off to bed after a long day of driving.

 

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