Day 17 Almaty Day Off

Alamty is Kazakhstan’s largest city with glitzy international shops, well stocked supermarkets and fine restaurants. Almaty was founded in 1854 and was until recent years, the capital of Kazakhstan. The city has twice been flattened in 1887 and 1911. In the 19th and early 20th centuries it was a place of exile, its best known outcast being Leon Trotsky. So much for history.

The Intercontinental Hotel where we are staying is an excellent modern western style hotel for which the chain is well known. The view out our windows is the spectacular range of snow covered mountains not far from the city which must provide incredible winter recreation.


We were most fortunate to hook up with a half dozen cars going to a local garage for maintenance and repairs. Garages offer many advantages over parking lots for affecting repairs as almost anyone would know out of hand but the point is really brought home when dealing with the issue in reality. The drive through the city was most enjoyable as the streets are tree lined and have many beautiful shops and buildings.

We arrived at our shop which I believe was named Kayectbo Exotics (either owned or used by a local collector) to find none other than Tim Scott working hard on his motorcycle. Now this is a truly determined man. The entire motor was disassembled and neatly placed on the floor – hope Tim can get it all back together by Tuesday.

Now we get to the major advantages of working in a real shop – lifts and room to spread out and work. This was a large facility which also worked on large trucks so there was no lack of equipment and personnel to assist.


Our friend Gernold Nisius from Maine (USA) looks like he is ready to beat the number 97 Volkswagen driven by Garrick “Dave” Staples into proper working order.

This young gentleman is Matthew Bryson from Australia who is actually leading the rally at this point in the number 102 Holden EH. Matt told me that his Mom reads this blog back at home – Matt sends his love Mom – and I hope she is enjoying our “reporting from the front”.

We were able to perform a thorough maintenance to the car – dropped the skid plate, tightened the suspension (still doing just fine Charlie and Chuck), adjusted the brakes, checked wheel bearings, changed oil, topped off the transmission fluid, reinstalled the skid plate and repaired the basic damage from our sheep encounter (left front headlight). They also have a car wash in the complex and the owner just directed us on for a cleanup – no questions asked. The amount of mud that came off the car was incredible and confirmation that white is a color which hides dirt very well.

Lloyd seems pleased to be associated with the car once more – good thing as we have no spares. That is not true of everyone here as the number 80 car, a 1940 LaSalle Cadillac Coupe of Roger Allen and Maggie Gray from Australia, now looks exactly like a late model Land Rover. Seems the LaSalle was determined to be not repairable back in Mongolia so they shipped it home, bought the Land Rover and rejoined the rally – talk about pressing on regardless …

One more day of rest tomorrow perhaps to get some interior cleaning done and some well deserved rest – this is not an easy event and even some of the experienced competitors complain of the distances and long hours. That having been said, this has been a great adventure.

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9 Responses to Day 17 Almaty Day Off

  1. Laura Merriman says:

    Wow, look at the shiny white car! You would never guess from the photos that you have been all the way through China, Mongolia, and now Kazakhstan – almost 5,200kms if I have it right. Brilliant indeed. I read your tales to Drew every morning. He loves to talk about how Big Lloyd is in mongolia…he has a much harder time pronouncing Kazakhstan….Keep on pressing on. Can’t wait to hear more.

  2. Tom Fergus says:

    Chuck, I’m thoroughly enjoying the updates, photos and tracking your journey. Stay fast and safe. I hope the views of the Caspian Sea will be beautiful enough to keep you distracted from spending 3 days in Iran! Can’t wait for more updates.

  3. Emily Sabino says:

    Thanks, Chuck for your excellent blog. & I’m glad to see that you, Unkaloid and the Caddy are all doing well. 🙂

  4. Chad Schwager says:

    Hi Dad,
    Looks like you are having a blast. Keep pressing on and blogging! We hope you are getting r&r on your off days.

    We can’t wait to see you when you get home. Miss and love you.

    Adriane and Chad

  5. Sp[encer Merz says:

    What an adventure. Keep pressing on.

    Written from the Rogue River entrance in Oregon. Our adventure is nothing like yours.


  6. Larry Fredette says:

    Padiddle no more my friend! The car looks great and the break from the race was probably a super charge for you both. Love the attitude and the posts, keep ’em coming my friend. Be safe.

  7. Tim Scanlon says:

    Hi Chuckie

    You have a future as a writer!! Everyone looks forward to your daily updates.
    Keep up the good work. Can’t wait to have some of those lamb chops !!!

    Uncle Tim

  8. Dennis Eklof says:

    Chuck: Thanks so much for your daily blog. Prebble and I look forward it every day, and there are many JANE members doing the same. What a great adventure and we are all glad you and the Caddy are holding up. We look forward to haveing you at another meeting soon.

    All the best!

  9. Just rejoining you after a couple of days absence. The car appears to have had a relatively trouble-free run so far. How about the two of you? Interested to learn that different companies are providing support for different parts of the trip. Not surprising I guess. Great narrative Chuck. Continued good luck.

    Peter Bourassa

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