Day 13 - Semey / Kazahstan

Bratislava to Beijing
Semey / Kazakhstan

Just before our departure to Irkutsk we call in to the local Volkswagen dealer. Our appearance is of incredible interest for both visitors of the showroom and employees. Parked Touareg attracts a huge number of people. Everyone is eager to ask some questions. We are asked about the car, our journey and general impressions of the route.


Unfortunately we cannot stay long in hospitable Krasnoyarsk, as Irkutsk and the great lake Baikal are waiting for us. So we have to say goodbye to the hosts and go on a further journey.


On the way we notice a small airfield and decide to take some pictures against the background of the AN-2 aircraft. Finding the entry seems like a real quest solving. On the one side there are locked gates, on the other we see motor deport and some warehouses. But, we finally manage to find a guard who is ready to let us into the territory of the air base. In winter the aircrafts don’t fly, they are just being serviced. In small hangars mechanics are busy with repairing of engines and various machines. And if Serega, the security guard, was very helpful and friendly, the workers are definitely not happy to see us. They grumble that we have nothing to do here and threaten Sergey they are going to complain to the owner. Not to cause any problems to the watchman, we take pictures as quickly, as we can, thank him and go back on the road.


Everyone knows such Russian dishes as borscht or dumplings, but every time we discover a new side of the local gastronomy. Whenever we stop for a snack, we notice the fact that locals prefer a large piece of grilled meat on charcoal to  traditional Russian cuisine. They usually order something like a traditional Caucasian kebab, or steak. This is understandable as low temperatures and hard work require a hearty meal.


We are also amazed by the way the locals react to low temperatures. When we go outside wrapped up in warm down jackets, they are wearing a single T-shirt and it’s obviously enough for them to feel comfortable. Mind you that the temperature is minus 20 degrees.


Despite the fact that the daylight each day grows longer, still quite a lot of time we're going in the dark. When driving at night, adaptive high beam helps us a lot. The light bunch covers not only the road far ahead, but also illuminates the roadside, while not blinding oncoming cars. It is very convenient when a large part of the road has no lighting.