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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 13 Oct 2012
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Question Stans in Late October

Hey folks,

Me and my darling are curently in Tbilisi and on monday we are planning to head to Azerbaijan, get the visas for Kazakhstan in Baku and head with the ferry to Aqtau. We are planning to go trough the Kazakhstan and enter Almaty to get visas for Ubekistan and Turkmenistan. We are two on r1200gs and I have a few questions for you. What are the road conditions from Aqtau to Aralsk and further down to Almaty and will it be to cold for this time of year (November) to go trough the stans.

BR,

Alenka & Anze
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  #2  
Old 17 Oct 2012
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Roads? Cold!

I am not sure of the roads you will be traveling. I just had a friend come through Kaz. and said the roads were real bad. The closer you get to Almaty the better the roads get. It is already getting cold here in Kyrgyzstan. We have gotten fresh snow in the mountains already. November looks to be cold. The best of luck to you.
Mac
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Old 18 Oct 2012
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As mentioned, around Almaty it can still be warm, but around Astana it starts to snow about now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alenkaanze View Post
Hey folks,

Me and my darling are curently in Tbilisi and on monday we are planning to head to Azerbaijan, get the visas for Kazakhstan in Baku and head with the ferry to Aqtau. We are planning to go trough the Kazakhstan and enter Almaty to get visas for Ubekistan and Turkmenistan. We are two on r1200gs and I have a few questions for you. What are the road conditions from Aqtau to Aralsk and further down to Almaty and will it be to cold for this time of year (November) to go trough the stans.

BR,

Alenka & Anze
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  #4  
Old 18 Oct 2012
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Snow

It is snowing here in Sokuluk right now! I really don't like snow, cold, or people that like snow and cold! Just kidding, I just don't like the way it makes me feel when riding my bike in the snow and cold.

Mac
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Old 20 Oct 2012
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We are still in Baku waiting for the ferry, when we are not being hassled for the $$ by Azerbaijanies . But we did found out one good thing that might help others in the future. The ticket personas wanted 300$ for the two of us and the bike. So we went to the Tourist office in the center and they said they will take care of this. You should ask for Aygun if you need help. So now she calls every day when the ferry will leave and will arrange the tickets for us and the bike for about 150$.

So when we arrive to Aqtau we will head to Atyrau and than to Uralsk for russian transit visas (is there any good agency there to get visas from?)
Is the Aqtau-Atyrau road really that bad'
We are thin and the bike is heavy

Will keep you posted on our endeavors....
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  #6  
Old 23 Oct 2012
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hei alenkaanze

I just arrived in Almaty, after about 20 days crossing kazakhstan on the route you are about to go.

Roads:
From Aqtau to Shetpe (small town 80 km from Aqtau) the road is good.
Then from Shetpe to Beyneu the road is in a really bad condition for about 200 km. Very dusty, with remains of tarmac. Mostly riding beside the road.
There is no gas station until Beyneu. Maybe in the sporadically appearing roadhouses they`ll sell, but don`t count on it. I had to load my bike on a truck halfway because of that.
The landscape is stunning though - totally flat, no one around! Perfect for camping.

Beyneu to Atirau is probably very good. Can`t remember really well, because I was given a lot of s in the truck.

Atirau to Uralsk is good as well. You should be able to ride for 300km between the gas stations. Many of the small stations only have 92 octane.

Uralsk to Aralsk via Aqtobe: mostly good roads with stretches of gravel, due to road construction. Last Gas stations before Aralsk is in Karabutak.

From Aralsk to Shymkent are many dirt stretches due constructions, but you won`t have to worry about gas anymore.

Shymkent to Almaty is good, with few stretches, BUT more traffic controls. Have dollars in small denominations ready. `Straf` s are maximum 2000 Tenge, 12 Dollars.

Temperature:
Near the caspian days were warm and nights rather coolish.
In the north and center - Uralsk to Shymkent - days were coolish and nights sometimes very cold! Temperatures can change very quickly.
Strangely, near the Tien Shan I spent a comfortably warm night in my tent. Almaty was t-shirtable in the daytime.

Wish you all the best! This was my most intense riding experience in my 5 months travelling. Loved and hated it now trying to sell the bike in Almaty.

Greetings Estironino
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  #7  
Old 23 Oct 2012
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oh, of course it won`t take you take you 20 days:

I spent 2 night in Atirau (truck drivers home)
and 2 nights in Shymkent

then some repairs on my brackets were necessary and time consuming

and some days I only advanced 150km (due to narrow seat and small engine of my DR350S)

I`ll stay about 6 days in Almaty - call me on my Kazakh Activa number:
+7 778 1786910
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