Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 8-10, Riding in +44C heat

We left Almaty on the morning of the 8th early to try to beat the traffic. The ride out of Almaty was nice except for some guard dogs that decided to chase us for a while. Sorry no photos of that though as we were putting all our energy into not getting bit!

Mike resting at a bus stop just outside of Almaty.

As we left Almaty the old and the new were already starting to mix. Most of Kazakhstan seems to be a mix of new fancy cars and the "old world".

We ended up riding 78km to the next major town of Kapashguay. The ride could have been nice enough but as the day wore on the heat rose to the mid 40's and the traffic got bad forcing us onto the soft gravel shoulder. By the time we got to Kapashguay the heat had zonked us so we grabbed a room at a very nice (albeit expensive and empty) resort hotel with a beautiful view and recovered for the evening.

The view outside of our resort hotel.

The next morning we started early again to try to beat the heat but by mid morning it was again in the 40's and by the time we hit 70km we were zonked and found a tree (trees were so sparse that there were even road signs indicating where one could find shade) and camped for the night.
That evening a couple of yound sheep herders wandered to our tent on their donkeys and struck up a "conversation". They later returned and insisted that we go to their house and have tea with their family. We could barely walk after biking in the heat but went and had a nice tea with the locals even conversation was slow going. They had no running water, windows, or doors but had two large screen TVs with DVD players.

The farm house of the Kazakh farmers that invited us in for tea.

The next morning we started early again but the heat from the two previous days had gotten to us so we hired a ride into Taldykorgan where we would devise a plan to ESCAPE THIS HEAT!

Jen tearing down camp at sunrise trying to beat the heat.

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