Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 7

Not too much happened yesterday. A lot of driving. We made it around 500 miles all through Kazakhstan. I haven't been to the Prairies yet but I think that the landscape is very similar. Where you can watch your dog run away all day long. The only difference is that these Kazakh roads are absolutely atrocious. We met a German couple who had been travelling since March, driving from Germany, and were shocked to hear we were doing the same thing in a few weeks. We also ran into another team and convoyed with them until it got dark and we pulled over while they deceided to push on through the dark. We pulled over to the side of the road and up a hill until the vehicle was out of site of the road where we pitched the tent and admired the vastness of the country.

We woke up at 5:30 this morning to make it to Semey, passing through a town along the way, looking for breakfast, we only saw a huge military base, hammers and sickles on the sides of buildings but not a restaurant to be found.

Finally we got to Semey, just a few hundred kilometers east of one of the main nuclear testing ranges for the soviets. In 40 years they detonated an estimated 450 nuclear bombs and there is still radiation in unmarked and unsupervised areas. But we are skirting that to go for the safety and security of Russia, just a few hundred kilometers north. Hopefully within a few hours we'll be through the border and out of the vastness of Kazakhstan, into the vastness of Siberia. For now we're sitting in an internet cafe beside a daycare centre as shown by two very helpful law students from Semey. This is the first internet we've had in a week but the pictures are screwing up a bit, so sorry, will have to wait a little while for those.

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