Almaty (Алматы)
June 19, 2014
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Thursday, June 19th

We loved Almaty. Unfortunately we would not be staying more than 2 nights here.

On arrival in the city we looked for a coffee shop, with wifi, to enjoy a latte and to look for a place to stay (as opposed to driving around and trying to find something). We decided on Mildom Apartments, went to check it out, liked what we saw and checked in for 2 nights. It has a superb location in the city center with very competitive rates.

Upon checking our emails we had a message from Justin and Jen, who we’d met in Ölgiy, and who had also just arrived in Almaty. We met up at Bar Raketa for drinks and dinner and a good old chat about overland travel and visa issues :).

When we turned in that night we were still planning to do 3 things the next day: 1) go to the immigration Police to try and get our visa changed, 2) take Sterlin to the Landrover Dealer for his check-up, and 3) go to ‘Stantours‘ to sort our some logistics for our LOI for Uzbekistan.

 

Friday, June 20.

That morning, over coffee and tea in our room, while preparing to go the Immigration Police and possible stand inline for a long time (apparently the office can get crazy busy), to most likely be told that our visa category cannot be changed, we both kinda just decided: ‘you know what… let’s not bother with it.’ Losing a lot of time instead of using the little time we had here to walk around, all of a sudden didn’t seem right. We decided to leave KZ the next day and cross into Kyrgyszstan.

So we drove to Landrover where Sterlin was seen to immediately. The people and service were top-notch. They even called us a taxi (on their tab) to allows us to meanwhile go to Stantours. By the time we got back to the garage the job on Sterlin was almost finished. Around noon we drove out of the garage, with Sterlin given a clean bill of health.

And then we just enjoyed the afternoon in this very green and leafy city: lunch, walked around and relaxed. We did also find a Nomad Insurance office where we managed to buy Third Party insurance for our trip through Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and back into KZ. Incidently, when the lady in the office saw our immigration cards she immediately commented: ‘It’s annoying that they make a little mistake and then they won’t fix it.’ She was adamant they wouldn’t even consider changing it. Which made us feel even better about not wasting time trying.

That evening we again got together with Jennifer and Justin, this time at The Shakespeare Pub (website looks a little bit nicer than the actual pub, but it did us nicely). Food, drinks and good fun alround and lovely talking to like-minded people.

 

Love that building.

 

Zenkov Cathedral in Panfilov Park.

 

Dinner and many drinks with Jennifer and Justin.