I have been joined by South African mother of two Yolanda for the next couple of weeks. She is riding Bolashak, who seems perkier, although hardly raring to go. Here they are crossing the railway line on the way out of Embi ..
The first night we camped at an idyllic spot by a little lake thronged with birds who kept up a beautiful cacaphony of sound as the sun went down. I am not an expert on the birds of Kazakhstan, but I thought I could hear curlews, larks and hoopoe, as well as the first cuckoo of spring. Unlike China, the Kazakhstan steppe teems with birdlife, including eagles and a funny little plump clockwork like bird which hovers and clicks and has a wide repertoire of calls - Rowena swore she heard it imitating a horse whinnying.
Yolanda has a quick snooze.
A Kazakh Kermit eyeballs Zorbee. Frogs are common along the rivers and can make quite a noise croaking both day and night.