So we made our way in direction of the very first city and fetched us some Tenge. Then we drove out of town into the steppe and for the very first time we noticed this intense scent of “Erika” in the air. And although we could still see the city, this feeling of freedom. The steppe was exactly our place and we should enjoy our time in Kazakhstan a lot.
The next day we drove on south as we wanted to go to Atyrau and from there on to Almaty via the southern route. The drive was straight forward and not as bad as others had described Kazakh roads. Well, there are quite some potholes and I hardly ever saw a sign warning of a road construction when there was one. But it was mostly good tarmac, so it was a pleasant drive. And the steppe surrounding us was breath taking. At first it was plain steppe with some occasional wild horses and a lot of wild eagles and hawks and then it started to get desert. Real desert. We could hardly believe it that we had come that far in our old car. At one point, after approx. 300km, we turned left and went along a sandy dirt road for some kilometres until we could hardly see the main road any more. The feeling of freedom was unbelievable, I have never felt that in my live before, but it was the feeling I had been seeking for, for a long time. No people around us, just the desert, the wind and harsh but beautiful nature.