15 May 2012

Kazakhstan: Aktau

We arrived at about 1pm but were not able to leave the port until about 4:30pm.  Once we were off the ship, it was pretty unclear what we needed to do.  We were with Michel and Marilou (www.tourdumondedepepere.com) who also sailed across on the same time.  They are travelling in a Toyota LandCruiser around the world and have about 5 years to do this, maybe more.

So, we finally cleared passport control and we asked a guy what to do next, he said wait (with his hands).  We waited.  We saw a lady with a clipboard who was on the vessel walk past us while we were sitting down “waiting” but she didn’t acknowledge us.  About 15 minutes passed and we decided to walk back up to a guard to ask.  When we did, the lady started yelling at us as if we were late.  We grabbed our belongings and headed to the ship to grab the bikes and car.  Once there, the lady continued to yell at us about getting the bikes off the ship.  
We moved all off the ship and were waiting to clear customs.  The guards came over to check out our bikes, asked us how fast they went and how much then cost.  They looked in our paniers, more to see what kind of things we carry in there versus what we had in there, took a couple of pics, opened the gate and said ‘Do Svidenya!’  To Michel, they told him he needed to do paperwork for the car and he needed to go to another place. We thought it was strange that we didn’t register the bikes but we were not about to make the hassle-free moment a hassle.  Our goal at hand was to find a place to sleep.

The first place we found was subpar.  It was super cheap but sometimes cheap is not good.  We moved to the second only to find it was closed for reconstruction, so we checked out the third and last, the Silk Way.  It had a good name.  The price was about  €80 for the both of us, with breakfast and WIFI.  It is one night and we are coming off a ferry ride so we deserve a bit of comfort for the night.  We said ok and moved in.
Our next agenda was food, we had seen a little center on the way to the second hotel.  We walked in that direction, which was about a 4km walk.   We ended up eating at a restaurant that was shaped like a ship.  When ordering, Scott ordered his main, then decided to go for a soup.  The lady asked if both and Scott said yes.  Ok.  HJ ordered the most expensive salad and asked to have the meat removed.  When the food finally arrived, HJ’s salad was small, Scott’s soup was a stew (a lot) and the second main was a mix of potatoes and meat, again a lot!
With the supermoon above us, we started the walk home.  Hopefully we would find a little bar to check out on the way home…we did just that, The Shamrock.  There was a live band playing and it was actually pretty good.  The crowd was a mix of locals with expats.  After a few beers, it was time to hit it and we headed back .
Tomorrow’s ride, despite the short distance of 150km, would not be super easy.   

1 comment: