From Bishkek it was only a short ride till we reached the 19th country of our trip: Kazakhstan.
250 kilometers later we reached Almaty, Kazhakstan’s biggest city.
At this point we’d been riding our KTMs for almost 17.000 kilometers – without a single technical problem. Not even a tiny one. Pretty impressive. To keep it that way, we took our bikes to the local KTM dealer called Agent Orange. Our 15.000 kilometer service was slightly overdue.
Among others, both of our bikes were in the showroom so we had chance to take a look at the dust-free versions.
Almaty is Kazakhstan’s former capital and still the economic and cultural center. It’s a really widespread city.
Sometimes cities just click and you can’t even really point out what makes you like them. We had a really good time there. Almaty’s vibe is great.
Being Germans it was a bit weird though to see Kazakhstan’s abbreviation KZ all over the place.
When we picked up our freshly serviced bikes from Agent Orange we were ready to hit the road again.
Kazakhstan is the world’s ninth largest country. It’s landscape is dominated by steppe. And steppe looks like what you imagine it to be: flat. This didn’t change much throughout our whole time there. And it most like won’t change till the year 2050, when Kazakhstan’s own development plan will be in full force. It’s advertised in big letters throughout the whole country.
We headed northeast and (were) stopped for photos a few times.
Finding some fuel proved a bit difficult on the route we took but we managed to get some with about a liter left in the tank.
And after riding around a bit we also found a place to stay at a junction. There was no village there, just a couple of diners and a motel. And a statue of course.
The next day we we’re on the road again in search of the highlights
The road itself was not very interesting to be honest. A few things caught our eyes though. Mostly remains of old infrastructure.
Our northernmost stop in Kazakhstan was Semey, formerly known as Semipalatinsk. If you’re going, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
The bridge was the only thing that reminded us about San Francisco though.
We stayed in town for a day and went to the local Dostoyevsky Museum.
The museum is located in the actual house Dostoyevsky lived in between 1854 and 1859. Beforehand he had served four years of hard labour in Omsk, Siberia. Living in Semipalatinsk was still part of the his punishment for being a revolutionary conspirator.
All in all we rode about 1.500 kilometers in Kazakhstan. One giant leap towards what was waiting directly behind the border: Siberia.