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Kazakhstan Trip Pictures from July 17 to 24, 2010

To read the Kazakhstan Journal.

Our Route through KAZAKHSTAN. Covered approx. 2660km on the motorcycles.

July 17, 2010. We had to detour to Chinez from Tashkent to cross the border from Uzbekistan to Kazakhastan due to the construction closure of the Tashkent Border.

After border formalities we continue to Shimkent and Turkistan.

TURKISTAN has the best preserved architectural momument in Kazakhstan and lies on the ancient silk route.

We are not sure who this person is.

Our hotel is located right beside the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The complex contains the YASAUI MAUSOLEUM.

We enter through the gate of the defensive walls.

The entrance portal of the Yasaui Mausoleum. To this date it is an important pilgrimage place.

Across the Yasaui Mausoleum is the Mausoleum of Rabigha-Sultan Begum.

The blue, turquoise and white tiling of the dome.

The architecture is the same as of the momuments in Uzbekistan.

July 18, 2010. We backtrack from Turkistan to Shimkent and onwards to Taraz. Before Merki we met up with two (2) fully sponsered Austrian's on BMWR1200GS' and our Swiss friend Glenn on the BMWF800GS.

Stopping for some water and snacks in Shuw we also meet a couple of riders from Kyrgyzstan on a BMWR1200GS and Suzuki V-Storm.

After 645km we set up our tent in a farmers field behind some trees close to Blagoveshchenka.

Mike prepares supper.

July 19, 2010. Enroute to Almaty we did a small 200km detour to see TAMGALY PETROGLYPHS.

The number of petroglyphs and their excellent quality surprised us.

There are no signs from the main road to indicate that a UNESCO World Heritage Site lies in a remote canyon. Sometimes it pays of to research the GPS coordinates prior to a trip, as it did here. We would have never found this place.

Of course this place is not overrun by tourists. Three (3) locals dressed in army uniform are our guides. Even so no English was spoken, we were able to communicate.

These carvings date back to the Bronze Age.

The number of petroglyphs is amazing.

The Tamgaly Canyon has been a ridual site for nomad people since the 2nd millennium BC.

This petroglyph depicts a rider on a horse with horns.

Most of the carvings depict animals and hunting scenes.

Us overheating in our riding gear as we climb up and down the canyon. The Tour is approx. 1 hour.

The carvings are plentiful and from the 100's of picture we took it was hard to pick just a few.

An example of the entire wall covered in petroglyphs.

An image of the sun-headed idol.

...more animals...

...and hunting scenes.

A few hundred meters further are the remains of ancient burial mounts.

An excavated grave.

More graves sites.

We stay in the former capital of Kazakhstan, Almaty, at the Kazzhol hotel for (3) days.

Our huge balcony. Almaty is a very modern town and we endulge ourselves in some western groceries.

Besides obtaining our Mongolian Visa, completing the Kazakhstan registration and getting sick, we visit the ZENKOV CATHEDRAL located in the Panfilov Park.

The cathedral is built entirely of wood including the nails.

The interior of the Zenkov Cathedral.

It is a functioning Russian Orthodox Church.

East of the cathedral is a large war memorial.

July 23, 2010. Leaving Almaty early we head north past Lake Kapshagay, through Taldyqorghan, Usharal. The further north-east we get the less traffic we encounter. The birdlife is plentiful.

No trees, vast plateau of green space.

After about 680km we find an old gravel pit, with a little pond and lots of birds away from the road or any unwanted visitors to set up our camp.

Mike prepares some yummy supper. It seems we are always starving after a long day in the saddle.

July 24, 2010. The road totally deteriorates between Georgievka and Semey. Along the way we encounter uniquely Kazakhstan cemeteries.

Every country seems to have different ways of how to buriel their loved ones.

At a fuel stop in Semey we decide to push on to the border of Russia and Kazakhstan. At 4pm, after another 570km of riding we have to wait 3 1/2 hours to exit Kazakhstan.