15 May 2012

Kazakhstan: Aktau - Shepte, May 6

This was supposed to be an easy ride today.  150km to Shepte to break up the almost 500km to Beyneu.  Starting from the hotel, Scott drove his bike around the hotel’s roundabout, not realizing that the bricks were as slick as ice.  The bike immediately was flattened and did spun around twice scratching up the side of the bike.  (Scott was not injured given the super low speed). 
Stocking up on supplies before leaving Aktau
It was a good start of the day…We started driving following HJs navigation.  We saw something that looked interesting (turned out to be a cemetery) so we turned in to check it out.  We were chased down by two cars telling us to not go there that it was only a cemetery.  We acted a bit dumb and then asked for directions to Shepte.  They told us to go in the opposite direction, saying that the road was “kaput”. 
Road kaput? We go anyway!
We said thank you and they were on their way.  We started up the bikes and headed to see the “kaput” road.  After about 20km, we understood what they meant.  There were trails, not roads.  Navigating was challenging but with knowing the general direction, we managed. 
This was not the worst, just a medium section
We hit our first patches of sand here.  On one of the sand patches, Scott was following a bit too close, got caught on the sand dust with no visibility and ended up falling.  This fall had done some damage to the left panier and broke the handguard.  The handguard was easily fixed with duct tape J.  Unfortunately, this was not the only fall on this road today…HJ also fell once in the sand, luckily not damaging anything.  He did managed to lose the rear mud guard.
The guy eventually drew the map out on a piece of paper
We arrived into Shepte, got petrol and asked for the hotel.  We were drawn a map and we headed to find a place to rest.
The hotel was small and very much like a hostel.  There were 6 beds in one room.  There was a shower so we were happy.  The bathroom was outside though.  
The hostel, super discrete and you need to ask where it is!
We met a very nice man from Baku, Etimar, who ended up buying us dinner and breakfast – Thank you again.  
Etimar, Scott, HJ: Thanks again for the dinner and breakfast!
Tomorrow would take us another 370km to Beyneu and on roads like we rode today!   

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