On ward trip to Almaty Kazakstan
Almaty Travel Blog› entry 24 of 30 › view all entries
The next day we got up early and headed to the bus station and caught what we thought was a good bus. Instead it took 8 or 9 hours, rather than 7 and the women and child next to me again vomited for the entire trip.
We arrived at the bus station in Bishkek, very tired, hungry, thirsty, sore, smelling like vomit, and with hardly enough money to get into the next country as we had planned to do. That was before that bus trip. We didn't have much money so that we didn't get caught having to exchange a heap of currency and therefore get ripped off at the exchange. Things were tight.
We had 605 som. We located a taxi and found that we didn't have enough money to get from Bishkek to Almaty in
So we were off to another country having hired the bus. We were off to
Night came and fell.
We arrived in Almaty bus station at , which was not on any of our maps. We had no money because there was nowhere to get any. Fortunately, the money we had paid the bus driver included him throwing us in a taxi towards a destination that took some 20 mins to negotiate with a taxi driver by way of charades, hand signals, and the exchange of a cigarette.
We finally got dropped off along a dark street packed with people, and we located the address where this hotel should be, after 15 hours of travelling that day.
We still had no money.
We showed a guy the visa symbol and he pointed towards some shops where we found a cash machine that accepted our cards. Money at last; what a relief. We then negotiated with another cab for 15 mins and got taken to another hotel which no longer accepted international guests. Strike two. We wandered around for 3 hours until before finally finding a place, and although expensive we were happy to stay the night just to get off the street.
The next day could not have been more different and has restored my faith in humanity. Today the people we met were charitable, helpful, unselfish and best of all accurate with the information they gave to us.
We found a hotel close by for $8 AUD each with shared hot water showers, located a tourist office with people who knew what they were doing and spoke English, located the Mongolian embassy way out of town (we have to get a Mongol visa for the trans - Siberian trip later on), and found a place to get food and drinks and coffee, even a little pastry item. All we need to do now is find a laundry service.