Jul 24 2013

Mum Arriving Soon & I Can Drive In A Straight Line

Category: Kazakh Driving,PersonalChrisM @ 4:06 pm

As you probably guessed from the title to this post, Mum is coming to visit us here in Astana, in just under two weeks. We’re all really looking forward to seeing her, and Anna is now asking several times a day just how long she has to wait. Last time Mum was here (20072010, 2007 was the visit before that; I somehow combined the two visits in one… in my head, Anna was present the evening John proposed to Mum, which would have made Anna -2 years old!), we didn’t have a car, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to show Mum a bit more of Astana. Having said that, there is a lot more of Astana to be shown now, I’m trying to remember which buildings existed six years ago!
I wanted to do a dry run for Mum’s arrival, so drove to the airport for the first time ever an hour ago.
I’ve only ever been a passenger for the journey in the past, and wanted to note where speed cameras, narrow lanes, dodgy junctions etc were. The speed limit, even away from people and buildings is 45mph, so you need to keep an eye on the GPS readout for your speed, especially around the horrid little yellow boxes.
It was a good thing I went all the way (rather pulling a U-turn once I could see the airport), as it looks like they have introduced charges for parking there! Or… you can park an extra 3/400m away for free 🙂
This meant my route back home started from a slightly different point, so I had to wait for another car – to follow them “out”, as the way I know to return to Astana involved driving through the (then free) car park. I couldn’t initially tell if the road I came in on was one-way or not, but someone else drove up it without horns sounding, so I assumed it was two way and followed close behind. You get to the end of the little stretch of lane, and there is a turn one-way only sign (luckily in the right direction), but the dual carriageway has unbroken lines on it, and you’re joining straight into the fast lane. Anyway, no problems, just glad I scoped it out first!

The Long And Winding Road

The Long And Winding Road

Now yes, I admit that the route is just about as simple as it could possibly be, but I wanted to ensure that when driving to the airport in earnest, that no WTF moments occurred with sudden new roads, roundabouts, or indeed new barriers and a list of charges for the car park. I could be wrong, perhaps it is a security thing, or you get a certain amount of time free, but I now feel prepared.