We were supposed to be collected at 1100 this morning to go to the bonded warehouse to get our bikes. This bacame 1230 and finally 1415 before we went anywhere.
Once at the depot, our paperwork from the airport (was done by Yerzhan before we left airside) was collected and we had to wait to be given permission to enter the bonded side. This finally happened after 1600. The container was still sealed, good so far, and was unsealed in our presence.
It didnīt take long for the unloading to get underway....
2 workers then started to open the crates. At this time, we were told to keep back as it was their job. Later on, however, when they realised that the bikes were not ready to go (wheels out etc) they started to panic as the warehouse closed at 6!
This is Andries with his KTM......it actually started :-)
Finally, by box came out....last!
We than had a mad rush to get the bikes back on their feet, batteries connected, screens replaced etc etc....the usual stuff after shipping. It was really hot and there was not one of us who was not filthy and soaked in sweat.
My bike, almost done. Started first time
Group shot of the yard just before we had to wheel them all out of the bonded side as it was 1800....The guy in Red is Nick, a school teacher from Devon.
There was a group shot taken before we left....by Yerzhan. I hope to get a copy from him and will post when I can. Everyone else was just too tired and desperate to get on their way....me included.
After a couple of miss understandings between me and my satnav......and hitting rush hour traffic, I arrived in the Ainabulak 1 micro district where the Sarayshik hotel is located. Well, what a find.....through booking.com. This is like a mini leasure resort with swimming pool and outdoor restaurant, with its own parking AND many of the staff speak reasonable English. Its about €54 per night including breakfast, use of the facilities and interet (slow). Its not the cheapest available in Almaty, but is is not even close to the price of many hotels. Oh, I forgot the most important thing for me.....secure parking AND Aircon in my room. Happy chap
Reception followed by pool area. Latter photo taken from a lovely seated area where internet is available.
While doin this update, I heard from another Dutch Rider who didnīt arrive with the group, he rode here via Finland and Russia. He had problems with his police registration as he was over the 5 days allowed. He has been fined 20.000 tenge.....about €105-110. He wonīt get his passport till today so had to stay another night in Almaty.
He joined me for dinner last night and has checked out of his hotel (Reunion) and is staying here tonight. I feel a few beers about to be poured