An early wake up at 6 o’clock got us onto the road at half 6 for a long days drive. We set off towards Kazahkstan’s second city Almaty and then headed North to try and reach the Balksah Koli Lake by the evening. Today was day 8 without a shower or any form of a wash, so the team was keen to find out whether we were tanned… or just really dirty.
The majority of the roads were in very good condition and we averaged about 50 mph all day long. Mid-morning we drove past the mountain ranges of Kyrgystan, with the first sighting of snow capped peaks. Later in the day we reached the incredible Central Asian steppe, rolling grassland reaching to the horizon in every direction. The roads in the plains were bit dodgy, with all the heavy lorries creating deep rutts and the ambulances bottomed out a few times, luckily all damage was swiftly repaired!
Coming out of the plains we went along a road for about two hours, where we saw what only can be explained as a long tyre graveyard. Every 50m there was a discarded tyre that we can only assume comes from lorries. Intense bordom lead to the invention of the tyre counting game… we counted over 100!
Eventually at around 8 o’clock we saw the massive lake we’d planned on camping at, we took the first road from the main highway down to the shore to jump in and have a wash. The feeling of clean skin was much appreciated by every team member. We were then accompanied by an awesome red full moon whilst we cooked dinner.
We were unfortunately joined by some unexpected visiters for dinner, who’s idea of a good meal… was us! Swarms of mosquitos drove us into our mossie-proof tents for the night at an early 9 o’clock
Due to travelling North, the daytime temperatures thankfully don’t rise above 35 degrees and now we can actually sleep in our sleeping bags during the night. We are all enjoying a cooler night for a better nights sleep after the scorching temperatures of Romania through to Uzbekistan.