Sleepless in Taraz!

Trip Start Apr 26, 2012
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Trip End Oct 31, 2012


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Flag of Kazakhstan  , Jambyl Province,
Friday, July 6, 2012

Not much to report here. The trip was uneventful in a comfortable Mashruska. We did pity any cyclists on this road as there were a couple of large rises and the heat was unrelenting.

We grabbed a local bus into town. I was pretty sure we could find the Taraz Hotel on the main road and it stuck out like a sore thumb when we finally came upon it….. A large Soviet area concrete block that had seen far better days. The rooms were way less comfortable for the same price as the one in Shymkent. No air-con, paint falling off the ceiling in the bathroom and a toilet that wouldn't shut up. Oh well, only one night. How bad could it be??

Taraz itself was nice in the centre but of course, we weren’t in the centre! A hot and dusty 2km walk to find the bazaar which was closed because of it being Friday. We did, however, find a nice café serving shaslicks, salad and cold beer. Many of the buildings around the main area, including a couple of the more up-market hotels, were very grandiose and well kept.

We found a couple of other places to drop in for a beer on the way back. The first, was a trendy beer bar with high vaulted ceilings, a large undercover beer garden and a range of local draft beers on tap. The second was a lovely courtyard restaurant with a cooling fountain in the centre, reasonable beers and our new favourite snack…stringy cheese. A couple of hours later and we wandered home with full tummies and…. every reason for a good night’s sleep.

Unfortunately that wasn’t to be as we found ourselves rudely awakened by loud cars, blaring sound systems and bright lights at about midnight. The back of our building appeared to be a meeting spot for some kind of nefarious activities and there wasn’t going to be a real lot of peace and quiet until almost day break. In conjunction with the hot still night and lack of airconditioning I think we got about 2 hours sleep at best. As I said…only one night!! Thank God.
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