How we got super efficient with our time in Almaty, dined on fresh lamb at Kolsay Lakes and drove for days through storms to reach the Russian Border.
The border couldn’t have been much more farcical. First the Kyrgyz customs wanted their document (which we were never given on entry). I tried explaining we were never given one, told them which border we came in through and told them to call them as it was a ‘Kyrgyzstan problem’ not ours. Eventually after much pacing around they let us through until we tried to exit. One guy wanted everything out. He tried to take the GPS off the dash saying we shouldn’t have it, it’s a security issue blah blah blah. He tried to take the microSD card but I told him he wasn’t having it and put it in the cubby box. Then he wanted everything out of the back of the 90, so I did the usual and offered for him to take it out himself. He demanded we did it so very slowly we pulled things out. Computers first, opened the fridge then our bags. When Lisa started waving her underwear around he soon told us to pack up but we were not done yet. He kept prodding the trailer with his pointy metal stick, everything got poked. Paintwork, boxes, clothes, I was slowly starting to lose my patience with him, his attitude and his nonchalant regard for our worldly belongings.
How we spent a lot of time on the Ishkashim border, got stuck in no-mans land, had to leave the Land Rover with crazy Tajik police and got a military escort into town.
…and hatched a plan to re-new our 15 day import permit.
The Plan: pick up our Afghan Visas at the consulate in Khorog, drive to the border at Ishkashim, exit the country fully using the second entry on our Tajik Visa and return the same way thus renewing our temporary import document.