14-Oct-2002 -- I start my journey to the first CP in Kazakhstan at 00:01 in Domodedovo airport. And after 3 hours I was in Atyrau. It is located in
the Southwest part of Kazakhstan on the northern shore of Caspian Sea at Ural River mouth. This is old enough city, its history
begun in 1640.
The glory and pride of this land are the white fish and black caviar as well as oil and gas gifts from Kazakhstan land bowels.
My old friend and colleague Vasiliy Kiba met me still trying to awake in Atyrau airport early-early morning. Fifteen minutes later he
drop me at a hotel. During this short voyage we have crossed the border between Europe and Asia. These two continents divided
here by Ural River and connected via long and wide bridge with pavilions at both sides. Each pavilion has a brass plates reminded
the name of a continent you stand. Their photos I made later after our successful visit to CP.
Three hours later after brief refreshment we met in KMG institute at the city center and prepared for our journey. We have armed
with Garmin, topographic scheme and advises to be aware of the Caspian flood zone not far away off the point of our interest.
We departed from the institute and directed our path to the district Balyqshy located at the southwest end of Atyrau and slightly
apart off our rout. Our Garmin attracted a vivid attention of the native guys. Quickly we took a picture of the district sign and came
back to our course. Within five minutes we achieved the city border. Here the main road turns left to the gloomy imprisonment zone
fenced by high concrete walls reinforced with barbed wire and guard towers.
Without any doubts we left the main road and drove
down to the steppe along uneven dirt road with it pits and bumps.
We tried to follow Garmin arrow directed to our CP but the land-reclamation channels network frequently blocked our route and we
were forced to wander while finding fords or bridges over channels. Finally we were stopped by swampy flood lane stretched for
many kilometers across our path. The distance to CP was about 1600 meters.
Here our team was divided for equal parts. Vasiliy
stayed with the car and I continued our campaign alone through the knee-deep salt water brushed with cane and rush. What a pity
that I have not paid attention to the institute guys advises! It is really much better to go through the swampy place while you dressed
in the high boots instead of pumps. To my delight I crossed the pool zone in fifteen minutes and continued my trip through the dry
Kazakh plane. Along my path I found many seashells scattered here and there. I gathered armful of them to mark CP. And finally I
reach the point 47N 52E. It is really wonderful feeling to be the discoverer! I took photos of North, East, South and East sides, but
they are quite identical, only plain and sky without any outstanding marks.
The back way has not any objects of note with exception of our meet with camel herd. We were lucky to make a photo of the
uncommon white camel. Vasiliy told me that they could be very dangerous especially when on heat.
After our successful campaign we made a tour of Atyrau city. The most remarkable objects are: Russian Christian church, Muslim
mosque built in 2000 and peculiar sheep bone monument stand as Kazakh lucky symbol.
Next morning Vasiliy brought me to airport through Atyrau gates. My journey finished in Moscow several hours later.