Camp diaries: last Russian miles and first steps in Kazakhtan

Chuck’s travel notes on the journey between the Russian Altai Mountains and Kazakhstan… and his quest for King’s Ginger substitutes.

Click to see on Google Maps

Our itinerary as we crossed the border

Days 10 & 11

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Prime riverside real estate in the foothills of Altai mountains

  • Location: 4km outside of Artybash in the foothills of Altai mountains, Russia
  • Terrain: Prime riverside real estate. So nice we decided to stay put for two days
  • What’s cooking? Lemon and herb grilled chicken and stir fried veg (day 1) sausage borsch (day 2)
  • Weather: glorious during the day, thunderstorms in the afternoon and rain at night
  • Insect level: 1
  • Morale: sky high until the morning of departure due to big box theft during the night
  • King’s ginger required? Yes but substituted with large quantities of pre-breakfast vodka supplied by neighbouring Russian policeman, Nikolai

Day 12

After the rain

After the rain

  • Location: 20km from the Russian/Kazakh border outside the town of Rubtsovsk
  • Terrain: tree-lined rocky dirt track
  • What’s cooking? Very peppery borsch
  • Weather: torrential rain followed by glorious golden hour
  • Insect level: 5
  • Morale: low
  • King’s ginger required? It wouldn’t have done any good anyway
Day 13
Morale was high as we were about to reach Kazakhstan

Morale was high as we reached Kazakhstan

  • Location: half way between Semey and Pavlodar, Kazakstan, just off the m38 road
  • Terrain: riverside forest ( the only forest for hundreds of kilometres)
  • What’s cooking? Sausage borsch risotto (not as bad as it sounds or looked)
  • Weather: glorious
  • Insect level: 2
  • Morale: high
  • King’s ginger required? No
Day 14 and 15
The tractor in the background rescued Betty from a well

The tractor in the background rescued Betty from a well

  • Location: 5km outside of Ementau between Pavlodar and Astana on the A17
  • Terrain: Outside a yurt on the steppe (we stayed put for two days again socialising with Kazakh farmers)
  • What’s cooking? Marmot in mayonnaise (day 1) and Freshly slaughtered mutton shashlick, and its boiled ass fat (day 2)
  • Weather: clear skies (day 1) drizzle (day 2)
  • Insect level: 1
  • Morale: rock bottom (Betty stuck in a well) to sky high (rescued by Kazakh farmer, Marat, and his tractor)
  • King’s ginger required? Yes but substituted with vodka

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