Day 31: Turkistan to Aralsk

We have a long day today. We plan to drive 750 kms. today. We left hotel by 8:30am. Our first requirement was to have cash currency. So, we searched for an ATM first.

We were on the highway soon. The highway was single lane with no divider in between. It became difficult for the us to overtake. Ours is right hand drive car and we have to overtake another vehicle from left side here. Normally when there are two lanes in one direction and a road divider, it is OK with right hand drive car. Remember we are on Right side driving traffic rule right from Laos and will continue so till we cross over from France to UK. The person sitting next to driver (on the left side) had a larger role today as he has to advice driver whether he can overtake or not.
We saw many camels, horses and cows. Camels were special attraction. There were camels with single hump and double hump (bacterial camel).

The whole route today was devoid of anything scenic. It was just open space on both sides of the road. You could see miles on the left and right having nothing but open spaces with green grass.
We reached Kyzylorda, town around 300 kms. from Turkistan. We had seen on the net that there is an Indian restaurant ‘Namaste Kyzylorda’. The town was about 15-20 kms. away from the highway. We went in search of the restaurant. We reached the location but could not locate the restaurant. We took help of a lady to locate the restaurant. She was kind enough to help us to reach the restaurant. She sat in our car. She took us to another nearby restaurant, Buffet CafĂ©.

We had one of the best lunches on this trip. They allotted us a separate area, room-like, where we sat on the floor with a big table in the middle. There were very soft carpets all around the table. It was very comfortable. There was one girl who could converse in English, though, not very fluent. She managed to take our lunch order. The food was sumptuous. Kids had a gala time there as they could run around the table. We all could stretch our legs. We were there for about 1.5 hours and thoroughly enjoyed the lunch. This was the way Aditi arranged a special treat on “Father’s Day”.

We travelled to Aralsk without break except for filling petrol at one place. We reached Aralsk at about 7 pm. We lost one hour on the way. We started from Turkistan where it was GMT+6 hours and in Aralsk it is GMT+5 hours. In Kazakhstan there are two Standard times.

Kazakhstan is a very big country. It is the biggest land-locked country in the world. It is the ninth largest country in size. It is almost as big in the size as India, but the population is only 1 crore 84 lakhs (18 million). There is a vast area which is not inhabited. The open spaces here are green with grass.

This country is located mostly in Asia, with small western part in Europe. It extends from the Caspian sea on the west to Altai mountains in the Eastern borders with China and Russia.  Astana is the capital city. It has been renamed as Nur-Sultan in 2019.         

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