1400km all the way to Astana

1400km all the way to Astana

It was hot inside the train and no one I could communicate and a bit busy. I couldn’t leave my seat because there might be someone taking it (I had no ticket so.. !!!). I looked at my map few times and every time I was making a line on it through in my mind through Gezelorda. I was counting distances and estimating how long it would take me to get in to the Almaty. The image I had in my mind from Kazakhstan always was like a very vast green lands and a lot of horses. I woke up in the morning around 10 ( because I couldn’t sleep till 5 as I had no bed and I had to find a bed to sleep). When I woke up I saw exactly the image I had in my mind from Kazakhstan. Vast green land , an endless horizon and just flat. I was excited. Seeing that beautiful green lands made me so happy and fresh. oh, no !! I am not going to miss them and go back to the south again where I will have again desert. suddenly I opened my map, looked at the road and in 5 min I made my final decision. I will cycle to Astana through the North road.I was thinking to stay in Aktube over night as I estimated to reach there at night but when the train stopped at 2:40 announcing” here is Aktube the last stop”!! I was so happy and excited to get out of the train. I don’t want even to lose a minute. I just wanted to cycle. I invited a guy who was talking with me in the train for lunch and after I checked my emails I began to cycle at 4pm and I had 1470km ahead to Astana. I souls make it in 14 days or 10 because I should arrive to Astana 2 days before weekend or after that, so I could manage my administration work on visa stuff. I decided to make in 10 days first which was already a hard work. If I could it then I would have 2 working days before weekend but I changed my mind and decided to make it in 9 days. Means 150km everyday with no rest in between. I had to use all my skills to keep my body working for 10 days even though I was already tired after 2 days traveling by train like that and not having enough sleep and rest. I remembered a technique which was used by Napoleon on his way to Siberia. He used to give his solders 10min rest every hour, so they could walk more hours during the day and more days continuously without rest. I did the same, every hour I used to sit on the road, take off my shows and have some snacks. This way I could do it in 8 days instead of even nine and I cycled 200km on the day 7th and 160km on the last day and still my body was fresh ready to work more. I had 8 fantastic days. An endless road which was stretched all the way in to the horizon. Sometimes I could cycle 130km without passing even a house. Just a car a truck every 15-20min. there was just green lands..as far as I could see. Just green lands and flowers there are. I could see sun every day sitting in the horizon like it is sinking in to the Greenland and its rising from my tent every morning. Days here are so long. Sun sets at around 9pm and rises at 3:30am and even when it sets the sky is light for 2 hours after sunset and the same before sunrise.Most of those nights I camped but 3 nights also I was staying with people where I could touch Kazakh hospitality which I should admit is amazing. They are amazingly hospital able what I have never seen like this in any other country. I met so many nice people all around the world but Kazakhs are such a lovely nation with beautiful hearts. They are so kind and open for guests…I love them so much. here is the km I cycled each day ….day 1:147km day 2: 168km, day 3: 155km , day 4:100km ( I was cycling through a dirt road), day 5 : 165km, day 6: 158km, day 7: 200km , day 8: 165km. Everyday I had to cycle at least 8 hours a day. Not even a small change on the scene or view and everything was the same for all the way. A road just going ahead in to the horizon. It was like a meditation for me something like wipassana. No one to talk for all day long and sometimes even no one to see for that time. I can just say it was great experience, absolutely great. Still when I think about the road I cycled through I feel so good. When I remember how Kazakh people were taking care of me it makes me a beautiful joy in my heart. Here just I write one example of kindness of Kazakh people…I was near zhaxi and I was thinking to stay overnight around zhaxi. A car was passing and after 2oom he stopped. I stopped too, but we had no common word to communicate. Just some usual question which I already could understand them and I had answer for them. He gave me his number and told me call when you are in zhaxi. I was near Zhaxi which I saw him back again to the road searching for me. He escorted me all the way to the city and a big factory. Later I found out he is owner of that big factory. I left my bike in the factory and followed him to a very nice restaurant which was the best one in that city. After we had a dinner like a feast he sent me back to the factory and gave me a room with shower and everything to rest and he went also to his house. In the morning when I was going to leave there he was not there because it was Sunday and holiday, so I was thinking I might not be able to meet him again, so I left there at around 8. after I cycled around 15km I saw him following me on a car. He met me and we hugged each other …he just came to say goodbye. I couldn’t believe it. How some people can be that kind and nice to a stranger? How they could be so humble? Later ON I understood that this kind of kindness and hospitality is something you can find it here in Kazakhstan easily. Everywhere…I will write later my stories in Astana and the way people treated me, you will understand what I am saying when you read my next journal. My next journal will be about meeting Bibigul, Aigerim, Olima, Elyas and other friends here in Astana. I will write here how it was nice to swim whole night alone in a 5 star pool…

18 June 2011

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Released at August 2
4 days ag, I was going to come to Mashhad from Tehran by car. in a very shoort moment, someone broke into my car and stole my duffle bag which was filled with all my equipments. The hardest part was losing my passport, ID car, Swiss simcard, Banc card, and 2 hard drives full of picturesa nd videos from my journey, also tent, mattress, sleeping bag, 3 pair of shoes.....ooops!! ) 
It wasnt fun at all but not much I can do now and I have to restart again from the very beginning to collect those equipments again and get my documents which doesnt have a funny procedur. 
Anyway....life is going forward and I should follow it.