|Thanks Dimas for the Red Bull hook up! It has come in handy!!|
Day 1: Almaty-Zhabagly Nature Reserve: It was a 700km ride of good road conditions. Although far, it was not difficult. I decided to sleep near the nature reserve to give myself something different to see. Unfortunately motorcycyles are not allowed in the park so I could only see the mountains from outside the gate.
|The gate was very ornate|
|Morning rides are refreshing|
Kazakhs are very hospitable people, until they are behind the wheel of the car. At a petrol station, I started pumping my gas. Within a short time, a car came up and honked at me to move (while I was still pumping). I pointed at the pump and he honked again. Another car pulls up in front of me and does the same thing. So, of course, I take my time. The guy behind me goes to another pump while the guy in front continues to honk. Once I finally move out of the way, he comes over and wants to chit-chat. I was pretty amazed.
|This guy had some problems|
|This was once beach front property of the Aral sea - Aralsk|
Day 5: Aktobe-Atyrau: This is a 620km ride. Google says it is about 7 hours...haha, I wish. I rode 10 hours this day, crashed once and dropped the bike once. This was the most trying leg I have done, ever. I was in over my head. 250km of terrible roads. I was wishing I had more of a 50-50 tire (knobby) for this leg. The new rear tire held up great given all the pot holes I hit.
|Ruts for days, this was not Disneyland|
|You need to pick yourself up after every fall - she stands tall here (but my ego was bruised)|
Day 6: Atyrau-Astrakhan, Russia: I figured the road would be as horrible as the one from the day before but I was wrong. The road is "perfect", well almost...haha. I was able to do a steady 80-100km until the border. I woke up feeling good.
|Easiest border crossing ever!|
|This was a fun bridge to cross - welcome to Russia!|
|Very friendly wedding party - nice way to be welcomed into a city!|