On the morning of 28th July, I said goodbye to Nura. Similar to my farewell bid with my previous hosts, it was hard to leave her too after spending unforgettable memories and adventures for two weeks together. Thank you Nura for the hospitality and for being my sister. I’m leaving you for now, but our family tie binds forever. I left Bishkek and crossed into Kazakhstan at Korday border via M39. Border crossing was very easy and smooth (five minutes on the Kyrgyz side and 25 minutes on Kazakh side). There’s nothing to pay on both sides. The road to Almaty was good. I was happy to see the same landmarks which I posed with DREAM in 2013.
Since now is the middle of the summer season, the steppe was not as green as last time, and there were no wild flowers carpeting the grassland as I had seen before. The view was replaced with lots of locals selling apricots and strawberries by the road side. I didn’t buy any because I had enough of fruit tasting in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The road after Almaty was good too, but there were some constructions nearing Taldykorgan. I reached the town after riding for 532kms. I rode slowly in search for a place to stay and I bumped into a biker who coincidently just came back after a month students exchange program in Malaysia. He helped me to find a cheap apartment, but I had to park GD at a paid parking about 200m away.
The next day I rode to Ayagoz via A3. The distance was 552kms. It was a very bumpy ride with lots of pot holes. There was some off road too and the rain worsened its condition. The road to enter Ayagoz was very muddy. This time, I wasn’t so lucky. GD kissed the muddy road, for the 8th time since GDR.
The road to Qalbatau was as bad as yesterday. However, the view improved by lots. The steppes and the wheat fields here were golden in colour. The wind was sometimes strong as I crossed the vast steppes.
I finally reached Semey after riding for 380kms the next day. It had been three days of long rides, and I am very exhausted. Semey is a city approximately 100kms to the Russian border. It’s easy to find Semey Hotel where I wanted to stay and did stay for two nights.
While in Semey, I managed to visit the Nuclear Victims Monument which was built to commemorate victims of the nuclear tests. The tests were conducted nearby this area by the Soviet government to see the effects of it on humans. It was reported that 456 tests had been done around Semey between 1949 – 1989. Few years later, cases of leukemia, cancer, and deformed babies rocketed significantly. It was estimated that 6000 Kazakhs died because of the tests.
War or anything related to it, never does any good to ordinary people. Only very few shall benefit from it. It was sad for me to think of the victims and the torture they had to live with until they let go their final breath…
We can’t change history, but we can prevent it from happening again
We can’t change people’s attitude, but we can change our own for the better
Every cruelty in this world started from sickness in the mind
We can treat this sickness if we truly want to become a better person in life
Believe me, we are able to change it if we really want to…