The ferry spits out, on the top side of the Caspian Sea, 5 bikes and 5 people. It is the Israeli Odette, the Italian duo Diego and Stefano and Harry & I. We now need to join the main road network that stretches across Asia at Beyneu. Ugh! There is a 500 kilometer stretch between us. Our trucker friends tell us the last 350 km are a ‘catastrophe’!

Our motley crew sets off. And it is a long and slow road across the dry and dusty Kazakh Steppes. And it is all potholes, lumpy gravel, corrugations, sandy pits and muddy strips. Often we face the 4 or 5 tracks, carved by truckers as force their way through impassable sections. Diego’s back tyre goes flat on us twice.

Two days later and we flop at the intersection that is Beyneu … what now?

Just then two Cossacks on BMW 1200’s plough into the ground beside us. Each arrives in his own cloud of dust. It’s Serv and Andre from Moscow. ‘Come!’ they say, ‘Come with us to eat and drink!’

Oh, what a night!


We head off to Beyneu, across the Kazakh Steppes, with the other 3 bikers on the ferry (Odette, Diego & Stefano).

We are almost always following a pipeline gushing with oil.

Here the oil pipeline makes way for an entrance.

And here oil is carried by train.

The Kazakh Steppes are endless ….

… and so are the duststorms!




And when the dust settles … there are wild horses!

We come across a very few desolate (but inhabited!) homes like these …

… and we meet a few lonely souls; one on a horse …

…. and one on a bike.

Here a family waits along the side of the road. We stop, inspect each other’s bikes. After that the best we can do is ‘big smiles and thumbs up!’.

Sometimes it is difficult to decide which road to take … with only N on the gps as our guide.

And some roads peter out into into nothing!

Another crossroads!

And another crossroads!

And where there is sand …

… Linda is sure to follow …

Rain is a relief for the Steppes, but makes a mess of the road.

Even when it dries.

Here you can see how truckers have carved out 3 different tracks to pass ‘impassable’ bits.


We survive ‘well & truly shaken’ with only … a first tyre repair on Diego’s bike (puncture).

and a second tyre repair on Diego’s bike (buckled wheel rim)

Lucky Us! Two ‘Cossacks’ from Russia, Andre & Serv, arrive in Beyneu in huge clouds of dust. They convince us to stay here.

The owner Walez is between Harry & I.

Eat say Serv, Andre & Walez … ‘TOMORROW YOU MAY HAVE NOTHING TO EAT!’

Drink say Serv, Andre and Walez ‘TOMORROW YOU MAY HAVE NOTHING TO DRINK!



We sleep fitfully … dogs bark, gates squeak. The next morning we realise small groups of people with big bags have been taken across the border all night long (see folk in background).

The next morning we leave in opposite directions after warm ‘good-byes’. We discover Serv & Andre have paid for everything!!!!