Thursday, May 17, 2012


Well after such a great night before it was up and about for our next destination, Uralsk, Kazakhstan. A new country and number 9 for the trip. The ride from Samara was pretty good and once we were about 80ks out of the city most of the traffic had disappeared. We were pulled over by Russian traffic cops who just wanted to make sure everything was in order and since it was, there was no problem. They spent the whole time laughing at my Queensland registration and license.
The border crossing from Russia into Kaz was pretty damn quick less than one hour. I wasn't sure if the Russians needed to see my Kaz visa so we pulled out our second passports. That raised some eyebrows and some questions about why we had two passports.
At the Kaz border control we were waived to the front of the line and were quickly on our way.
The run into Uralsk was excellent, big open spaces, great road and no traffic. Was having a great day.

Just on the outside of Uralsk we got waived over by a traffic cop. He started going through my paperwork and asking for all manner of things including my Kazak insurance. Which I should have got at the border. Shit!! He kept going on about it and was talking about $200 for 'protocol' and was trying to get us to return to the border and then to something about 3 kilometers into Uralsk.
He made some gestures about keeping my licence and registration, the end he pulled over a Russian in the hope he spoke English. He didn't, so I got my licence and rego back and was waived on my way. I am still not sure if wanted a bribe or not. Either way I was freaking out and had a pretty restless night trying to sort out somewhere to go to get it.
Come the morning we got the receptionist to ring an insurance company and caught a taxi up there. The girl in the office spoke enough English and bango that was problem number one solved! Big thanks to Sharon for staying optimistic, while I was real worried about everything. Getting the insurance went so well we were able to get our visa registration sorted. We ended paying someone for this, probably a little than we should of it was still cheaper than paying a bribe. With my paperwork in order this should be a lot less likely. I think playing stupid (or being stupid) is the easiest to avoid them though, make it too hard and it will be to hard! I just hope I don't come across someone with really good English!

Tomorrow we leave for Aktobe.

Location:Dostyk-Druzhby Ave,Uralsk,Kazakhstan

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