I am back in the UK! Yes, that happened fast you say.
Indeed, I’d been keeping my return quiet so I could surprise my mum for her birthday.
But now I can tell you about the last days of the journey…
Having cycled back to Moynaq, I hopped in a taxi and left a pool of dirty water in the passenger seat. We drove back to Kungrad, and made a tour of the town to change money at the bazaar, show me where the train station was and find a guesthouse. I debated cycling to the Kazakh border, but my cold, the rain and limited time until my visa expired encouraged to enquire about trains. This journey through Asia began on the Trans-Siberian railway, so it would be like coming full circle.
I joined the queue and waited. And watched the throng of cars and buses and people slipping and sliding in the muddy quagmire in front of the station. And when I got to the front of the queue, and found out that the next train was early the next morning, I didn’t even hesistate to get a ticket to Beyneu, just across the border in Kazakhstan.
And when I arrived in Beyneu I went straight to the ticket office to find out when the next train to Aktau on the Caspian sea was. It leaves in one hour I was told. And so, before I knew it, I was on the overnight train bound for my final destination.
I had enough time to cycle it before my flight, but as with all Central Asian bureaucracy, my good intentions don’t always comply. It is necessary to register with the Migration Office within 5 days of arrival in the country. And the nearest office was in Aktau. So there wasn’t much alternative to the train.
So that’s why, within 48 hours of making my u-turn from the bleak desert near the Aral Sea, I was at the end of my journey.
Well, it’s not really the end… I head back out to Siberia in January. I’m just home for Christmas and to get kitted out and prepared for the winter.
It has been a great 6 months. Highs and lows, but that’s always the way. And it’s probably best summed up through the photos I’ve taken. So I’ve put together a little photobook of the journey so far… free for you to download and view at your leisure.
Hope you enjoy!
Free Photo Book
Just click the image below to download now: