Saturday, 16 October 2010

Shymkent (Kazak) to Taraz (Kazak)

Shymkent to Taraz

Having split two days driving up over three days, we’re in no rush to leave - After breakfast I leave Becky glued to the internet and head down to the car park to carry out some overdue minor maintenance to Jerry. All the plugs are changed, the air filters thoroughly cleaned and noticing that the ignition points are slightly pitted, I take the opportunity to swap those also - The transformation is quite marked and after this minor brush up he’s running better than ever.

Back on the road and we’re enroute to Taraz, it’s a relatively short hop of 4 hours until we arrive in the city centre. Taraz is famous for producing the countries favourite brand of Vodka, potent stuff by all accounts.

The city is fairly quite, its wide leafy roads more remanisant of Western Europe than central Asia. Once again we manage to become utterly lost trying to find our hotel… The major problem for us in Kazakstanh is that the signs are all written in a weird Russian font, totally different to the names published in our book. Its mission impossible!

We stop and ask a local who proves to be extremely helpful, he not only explains where the hotel is, but also insists that we follow his car to the hotel. When we arrive he also refuses to accept any money for his time, a great bloke.

The hotel is OK, but we are noticing a huge jump in prices from those printed in the guide book. Kazakstanh hotels also appear to demand payment for your room up front, something we havent seen before.

That evening we wander into town to find a cash point, after an hour of walking without so much as a hint of a bank we hail a cab and ask for “Bankomat” (Cash point). The driver promptly drives us 250M to the next street where theres a line of four new cash points - He laughs, we pay him the equivalent of about 50p and find a restaurant. Dinner for two with starters and main courses comes to all of £4...

No comments:

Post a Comment