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  #1  
Old 29 Aug 2013
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Kazakhstan 2013

We returned from one month trip to Kazakhstan. Our final destination was Ustyurt plateu in Mangistau region (W Kazakhstan). We rode from Slovenia through Hungary, Ukraine and Russia before we arrived in Kazakhstan. We had no major problems with car (Nissan Xtrail T31), but during such a long journey (11000km) some weaknesses came to the surface...

NIssan Xtrail had some mods: inverter mounted under the passenger seat for charging batteries and laptop, aditional 12V plug in instrument center box for GPS, mudflaps made of 5mm rubber and rear modular storage system (discussed here AUSTRALIAN X-TRAIL FORUM :: INT/EXT Accessories & Mods :: rear modular storage system | Runboard). There were no problems with diesel and we never fill additional 60l tank in storage system. 20l of drinkable water and 40l of water for washing and shower was enough. We usually refilled water (used for shower) from (rare) fountains scattered across the country. All our baggage was safe and invisible from outside under the bed and accessible only from rear dors. We also stick mosquito net to rear windows so we slept peacefully.

I mounted A/T-S yokohama geolandar tires (spare tire also) and I never complain! They proved to be excellent tires. The most usable tool was electric pump, because of various terrain we constantly lowered the tire pressure.

Basically, this was our plan: sacred Sherkala mountain, Torysh valley, underground mosques on the way to Caspian sea, Caspian sea shore, rocky cliffs and picturesque canyons, Karagiye depression, necropolises and underground mosques on the way to Ustyurt plateu, Ustyurt plateu and all we will find on the road..

Kazakhstan route








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  #2  
Old 29 Aug 2013
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thanks for some very nice panoramas , what map is that you have pictured ?
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  #3  
Old 30 Aug 2013
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"Kazakhstan route" image is a printscreen from Garmin Basecamp (with google maps satellite image aligned in the background.)
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  #4  
Old 3 Sep 2013
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Really enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for posting. I see one has a tripod you wouldn't happen to be fellow bird watchers. I hope to traversing Kazakhstan on the way to Mongolia next year.
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  #5  
Old 4 Sep 2013
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Nice pictures, thanks for sharing. We are planning to do the same in spring 2014 on the way to Magadan.

JP
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  #6  
Old 19 Sep 2013
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Nice pictures... this is the last area left for me to see in Kazakhstan, and I may have an opportunity to see it next April.

How did you find the people were around there? Atyrau can be quite an unfriendly place, how are the people you meet out in the steppe?

What time of year did you go? I want to avoid the terrible summer heat, but also avoid the rain and mud of late winter, as I plan to drive off-road from Aralsk past the Aral Sea and onto the Ustyurt Plateau, eventually crossing into Turkmenistan at Karabogaz. Any reccommendation? I think mid-April would be good....

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 19 Sep 2013
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Nice pictures... this is the last area left for me to see in Kazakhstan, and I may have an opportunity to see it next April.

How did you find the people were around there? Atyrau can be quite an unfriendly place, how are the people you meet out in the steppe?

What time of year did you go? I want to avoid the terrible summer heat, but also avoid the rain and mud of late winter, as I plan to drive off-road from Aralsk past the Aral Sea and onto the Ustyurt Plateau, eventually crossing into Turkmenistan at Karabogaz. Any reccommendation? I think mid-April would be good....

Thanks!
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  #8  
Old 24 Sep 2013
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We start our journey in the mid of july2013 and came back home one month later. However, it was not as hot as we expected...
We was most surprised by the storms. In the south of the country, it rained almost every evening probably due to evaporation of the Caspian sea. Terrain quickly become muddy and impassable! This was our biggest concern. So if you go into the desert-steppe alone, keep that in mind. There is no living soul houndreds of km around.
Locals in such remote villages are timid, shy and mostly drunk.
Hotel rooms in Atyrau, Aktau and fort Shevchenko are overpriced but they can offer you a carefree sleep when your car is behind a high safety fence.

if it's possible avoid the road from Shetpe to Beyneu. From Ustyurt you can reach Beyneu offroad, just drive carefully north through steppe. There is no "roads" only ruts... occasionally

In Kazakhstan, do not drive at night, never!








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  #9  
Old 24 Sep 2013
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[QUOTE=dejansuc;437615]

if it's possible avoid the road from Shetpe to Beyneu. From Ustyurt you can reach Beyneu offroad, just drive carefully north through steppe.

[\QUOTE]

May I ask you why??

Did you take any GPS tracks/waypoints of this tour? If yes would you like to share them?

Groetjes,

Jeroen
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  #10  
Old 26 Sep 2013
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300km of horrendous broken surface is lying between Beyneu and Shetpe.
This is a broken, twisted, jaw rattling bumpy road... a gravelled road with sand, stones, high temperature, deep holes and full of dust.

The worst roads are roads that used to be roads!
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