I woke up by the voices of strangers. There were two Kazakh men out on their morning training, who stumbled upon our camp. They could speak pretty good english, and lived in the village we had passed on our way here. They got some selfies with some of us, and then they wanted Jakob to talk with one of the guys sister. She more or less asked the same questions, and sounded like a journalist writing down the answers. Not to be paranoid, but it sounds like they checked our story!
On our way onto the big road we had to pass another couple of kilometres of sand road. We met a small car, and instead of us going off road, he just backed up on a sand dune like nothing. Cool to see what ordinary cars can do!
After lunch we arrived at the registration office, as you have to register in this country within five days. We were really lucky as we met a lady who were an english teacher and would help us filling out the forms, finding a copy machine for the documents and speak with the people at the registration hall. Now, we stumbled upon a small problem.
Apparently, she had experience of the same problem Pontus had with his visa, and that did not end well. As we had no possibility to get a new visa in time, our only choice were to deport Pontus before the five days had ended. Therefore, the best choice we had were to put him on a flight here in Aktobe, as we would not pass an airport the next coming days. We split into three groups; one escorting Pontus to the airport where he would fly to Bishkek, one shopping food and one group, including me, waiting to get the remaining passports back from the registration hall. Joakim, Birte and I took a small walk around the neighbourhood before waiting at the registration hall, where I used the time to put up another blog post.
While shopping, Jakob did a ”Russian” as they were out of time and there were really big lines. By doing a Russian, he went off the road on the right side, and drove past everything.
When all the parts were done, we left the city. On the way out Jakob worked on the public relations, and high-fived a Kazakh who gave us place to get out to the main road, even though he had right of way. The traffic is so much friendlier here in Kazakhstan!
After driving for a bit, the road went really bad, worse than anything we had ever drove so far. There were usually small dirt roads on the side of the main road, which were better than the long ago asphalted roads, which now consists of pot holes and cracked tarmac.
When we turned into the last road, we had a really long distance of straight road ahead of us. There, we started surfing the cars, while driving both on the tarmac and the dirt road. We had a really good time, even though it did not really go that fast.
In the end, we arrived at the wheel tracks which would lead us to our camp. We were now really close to an old soviet nuclear missile base. Before dinner, we went out and explored for an hour, and we will probably return tomorrow for more sightseeing.
This was also the darkest place we had camped on so far, with a really good look- out over falling stars, satellites and a nice, bright sky!