Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Unknown Fields Division: Almaty - Aral Sea

Overnight flight delayed which meant by the time we arrived in Almaty at dawn we had missed our train connection - a 33 hr ride across the Kazakhstan desert to the Aral Sea. Plan get a cab to the next station and try and catch up the train. After waiting nervously for our bags at the airport which seemed to take forever we sped off in the cabs at full speed. Kazak roads are a death trap - narrowly avoiding a dead animal, x 2 over taking coaches and countless other near misses whilst our driver had to pump the air in the tyres and take a leak. Result: we missed the train and had to wait 8 hours for the next. The subsequent ride was smooth, the pace of the train just right letting the track noise slowly shake you into a deep slumber after some ice cold soda's in the buffet car.

Finally getting to the washed out planes of the Aral Sea, the sea now long gone after being continuously drained for the past 20 years to service the cotton fields. Dreams of a forgotten past now hang from the fishing boats on dry dock as we look out on what should been the harbour busy with boats and action.