World bicycle-tour video Kazkhastan another YouTube/Flickr video. After 28 long hours on the boat from Azerbaijan, Garry docks in Aktau, Kazakhstan. Thinking he would be able to get cycling the following day, Garry then found out that he needed to get a stamp in his passport, from the local police station! And it had to be done within five days of entering the country! Perhaps he wouldn’t be on the road tomorrow after all!
The following morning Garry went to the police station. Only to find the person with the stamp was on a day off, and nobody else could do it! Garry returned to the police station the next day, and was in for a bit of a shock! When he learnt that his visa would expire in a few days and he would have to leave the country!
How What Why
Garry had obtained his Kazakhstan visa in London when he had returned home after being knocked off his bike in America! But was put on the spot at the Kazak embassy. When he was asked for the specific dates of his trip! Most visa’s give you a window of a few months, the Kazak visa was exact, and there was no leeway it had to be on the dates stated, and it would only be for thirty days!
Being put on the spot, Garry gave it his best shot, but was a little out! Luckily Garry had realised this and while he was in Baku waiting to get the boat to Kazakhstan went to the Kazak embassy for a visa extension. There he met a very helpful and friendly ambassador, who simply said how long do you want? Three months, six months, a year? How different that was to his experience in London!
But now in Kazakhstan, he was told, that he couldn’t continue one visa onto the next without leaving the country for 24 hours! This was a big problem for Garry! All the neighbouring countries also required visa’s, and apart from not being easy visa’s to obtain, their embassy’s where in Almaty, 2000-miles away!
There was no other option for Garry he would have to fly out of the country! And his nearest and cheapest destination was, Turkey, back to Istanbul! After eventually sorting it all out Garry could leave Aktau and get back to what he does the best cycling!
Garry was only on the road for seven days before reaching Atyrau, where he would have to catch his flight to Istanbul. In Atyrau, Garry found a nice western-style hotel and decided on leaving his bike there, while he flew back to Istanbul!
Home From Home
In Istanbul, it was like going home, everybody in the hotel knew him, and welcomed him back. Not surprising really after staying there three times in the past ten months! As did the people in the shops and restaurants nearby, who all asked where his bike was. Reminding Garry that his bike was over a thousand miles away in some Kazak hotel! He just hoped it was safe, and would still be there when he returned!
After four days Garry was able to return to Kazakhstan, but would his bike still be there? It was a long flight, not only did he have the worry of his bike still being there, but would they allow him back in the country! Thankfully all his worrying came to nothing, and he was allowed back into the country and soon reunited with his bicycle!
Back in Kazakhstan and back on the road, it was hard going. Many of the roads had long gone, worn out by the masses of trucks, that would pass Garry in convoys of ten or more! In many places, it was impossible to see where the old road was! And was now like an eight-lane highway, on dirt with every vehicle trying to find the best way through! This made wild camping rather precarious! Usually, Garry would pull off the road and pitch his tent. Now because there was no main route through, Garry had to find an electricity pylon or something to camp next to. And hope he wouldn’t be hit by some truck in the night! He even camped in a graveyard one night to avoid being hit!
Wild camping became Garry’s go-to option, despite the worry of being run over! Hotels and guest houses were bizarre! After checking in, Garry would go out for a walk or something to eat. But upon returning to his room, he would quite often find somebody else in the room, that he would now have to share with!
Kazakhstan was a challenging and wild country, but what an experience! And after seven weeks Garry had reached the Kazak/China border, only to find it closed! Thankfully though it was closed because it was the weekend. After two days the border opened, and Garry was allowed to leave Kazakhstan and make his way to China, Garry’s final country on his world tour.
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