Sunday August 1st
Last weekend I went out with Yuri the vet to see The Horse that Rowena has bought. The gentlemen showing off his one pack is meat man Marat, who sold us the horse, and on the right is Yuri. The Horse itself is Kazakh and apparently a pacer, but I was not able to see it ridden as Marat did not have a saddle, so I will have to return with one.
So only two more horses to find, but I will be meeting up next week with Atyrau horseman Abdul Karim, a trusted contact of Rowena’s who is bringing horses to Almaty to race, and hopefully should be able to find something suitable. It is immensely frustrating having to hang around while these things are being sorted out, especially as it all eats into my visa time, but I feel it is worthwhile if I can get decent horses.
The British Embassy office here have been amazingly helpful. The Pro-consul Svetlana Solomkina has not only included a write up of the ride on the Embassy newsletter, but set up meetings with both the British Council (who are going to provide a list of English teachers en route), and the charming new British consul Stephen Hickling. He has organised an official letter of support which I am sure will prove invaluable in the months to come. Svetlana lent me her delightful young daughter Anna to act as a most proficient interpreter when I needed to buy some essential accessories for the pack saddle Having concentrated on learning Chinese up till now, my Russian is sadly lacking, and it was bad enough trying to explain what a latigo is in English. I am attempting to teach myself Russian, but I fear it will be some time before I am even feebly conversant.
I had hoped I could edit my blog from Kazakhstan, but surprisingly Blogger is also blocked here and I am forced to e-mail my posts home once more. This means the blog posts will be a little out of date, but it should be only a couple of days, rather than weeks as with China.