Nothing much to say. Fairly average day just covering miles heading for Russia. Kazakhstan is big. Big and flat and stormy. Watched some fighter jets doing aerobatics near a military base, found somewhere to camp, changed another tyre, had dinner, and that’s about it. No drama, barely even a photo opportunity.
The new satnav works great for getting us out of the city. A cop stops us, but fortunately just wants to chat and have a look at the bikes, and soon we’re on our way without any fine. Dave’s bike seems to be running ok but looks to be seeping oil from numerous places. After a short ride we find a camp site and stop at lunchtime because we need to do tyre changes etc. A big thunderstorm hits when we’re half way through the first tyre change and we get soaked, but an hour later the tyre changes are done, the sun is out and we can relax. I go for wine and bread while Dave makes more temporary air filters, then we have a rather nice pasta dish with a rather unpleasant wine, followed by chocolate and a roaring camp fire with a lightening storm in the distance, then bed, back in the familiar cozyness of the tent after 5 days luxury in Almaty.
It’s annoying that we’re still waiting for Dave’s bike to be rebuilt, but if you’re going to be stuck anywhere then Almaty is the place. It is incredible. The day starts well with peanut butter on toast for breakfast for the first time in 53 days, and I manage to successfully transfer maps and waypoints to the new satnav. Arriving at MyTownMoto we discover Dave’s bike has been rebuilt and so for the rest of the day we can relax, enjoying Almaty and not really wanting to leave.
Practicalites today. Manage to find a MapSource compatible satnav in a department store. If I can actually transfer maps and waypoints to it, it will be very useful and i’ll be pleased not to have to look at an empty satnav mount for the rest of the trip. Get some cash, do some internet research. Change the rear tyre on my bike back to road rubber to save the dirt one for Mongolia. Then to pick up Dave’s bike from MyTownMoto, hoping it’s been re-built. It hasn’t, so it looks like we’ll be here another night. And then we find out the replacement piston dave ordered from wemoto is not available. So we go out for a drink.
5 course breakfast. Lazy wander around Almaty. Take advantage of free wi-fi in the cafe. Just a relaxing day of doing nothing, thinking that i should really be changing my tyres back to the road tyres for the next leg to Russia but not actually doing it. Then we go to MyTownMoto to see about Dave’s bike. Damaged cylinder, needs a re-bore and a new piston. Looks like we’ll have to try to get parts sent from england to Russia, there’s a bike shop in Novosibirsk and his bike should make it that far. Getting ready to ride back to the hotel i notice that my satnav has been nicked off the bike, right outside MyTownMoto. Bloody annoying. It will make the next part of the trip very difficult to navigate, and on top of my sunglasses going walkabout i’m out of pocket by well over 600 quid. Very annoying. Still, fish and chips in Mad Murphy’s Irish Pub helps ease the pain, even if it’s nothing like real fish and chips.