After seeing Rowena off on the train on Wednesday evening, we set off the following morning for Embi, leaving Bolashak at Bazargul's to rest. Zorbee and I made faster progress over the next five days, following a (relatively) good road across the steppe and over a low ridge of hills to Embi.
More Pointless signs!
Now Rowena has left us, Bauzhan has taken over the role of camp cook. Here he is concocting a tasty evening meal on the day of the Royal wedding, with Zorbee grazing happily in the background. We toasted the happy couple in vodka and orange in the middle of the empty steppe as the sun set over the horizon
Riding down the other side of the hill ridge towards Embi....
Embi is a small railway town with traditional housing centred round an open square surrounded by little shops and a bazaar. I am staying in a government workers hostel which passes for the local hotel, and have a room with two squeaky beds and an electric point so I can charge up my laptop. My eagerly anticipated shower proved to be another interesting experience. The shower room consisted of a compartment with grubby tiles and two taps/showers which gave off little electric shocks - rather disconcerting when one is naked and wet. I was virtually on hands and knees to get full benefit of the meagre trickle of hot water, and my ablutions were regularly interrupted by the lady janitor who kept popping in to check the water temperature!
However, clean and refreshed, Bauzhan and I strolled over to the chaikhana opposite (door on right with propietoresses in photo) where we had an excellent laghman.
If you are ever in Embi, you could no better than to eat at this little eating house .
Tomorrow Bauzhan is driving back to Shalkar to fetch Bolashak, hopefully suitably refreshed after his little holiday.