DAY 80 The train pulled into the Kazakh border at 4am, the military meticulously picked through the train and then picked on me… I may be a rare sight out here but that didn’t encourage any display of common courtesy. I couldn’t understand a word they were saying nor could they of me… heres the […]
The train pulled into the Kazakh border at 4am, the military meticulously picked through the train and then picked on me... I may be a rare sight out here but that didn't encourage any display of common courtesy. I couldn't understand a word they were saying nor could they of me... heres the passport, everythings in check, stop puffing your chest out. Police the situation without the bullying guise, nothing is out of order till you discover it is. They practically wragged me off my bunk making a pointless 'Hoo Haa'. The rest of the folk slid back and out of sight, bizzare and unnecessary... not nice when you have just been shocked out of slumber.
After all that it was then on to the Russian border, No problems here. The last one I need a visa for... 'Spasibo' and 'Privet' Russia.
Astrakhan arrival 1pm.
Off I trod into another City looking for an internet cafe...nothing!. I needed to confidently get on the right road to Volgograd 400km west, get a sim card that works etc etc. Russia and Astrakhan offered a welcome signal I was out of no mans land and close to Europe, Snickers and Milky Ways adorned the confectionary stands their was even a Mc Donalds. Never thought I would be happy to see one of them... I was straight in their for a 'Big Mac'.
I resigned to the fact of spending the night in the Russian version of a 'Holiday inn. Spent the evening with beer and nuts in the baking heat, under a tent outside the Hotel, watching a pair of Masters play 'Back Gammon' at a robotic speed. Every single move was made before the dice had even settled. I tried to muscle in on a game and get the Camera on them...they were hard boys who didn't mind me watching but had no desire to mingle let alone be filmed. I received more than my fair share of intense probed glares before I became accepted... these 2 fellas were obviously a prominant fixture here as the crowd grew throughout the evening to watch. As the evening drew to a close we were all pals, they let me take some photos...obviously to get me in I had to hand the Camera over, the master got chopped out as I was afforded rare recognition and a shake of the hand.