Tuesday, January 21, 2020
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Some of the other rally competitors


 You thought Skye's roads were bad for potholes? Well apparently they are not a patch on Kazakhstan!

That's the latest news from the island's own adverture rally pair Anne MacAskill and Kay Simpson as they continue on their way in the 10,000 mile long Mongol Rally.

As previously reported in The Skye Times already they have passed through England, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and into Kazakhstan.

The pair are hoping to raise cash for charity on the way so if you want to help out follow the link here

For the latest news from Anne and her rally partner.

"It took us a few wrong turns before we got out of Almaty and maybe fortunately, as Kay had to change a fan belt on the van and we were on a nice quiet road - she can turn her hand to anything! After a couple of days driving up North to Semey to go over the Russian Border, with varied countryside to begin with and then endless steppe and some horrendous roads - the biggest potholes I have seen.(we shall not be complaining about Scottish ones any more, even if one ripped my car's tyre before I came away!) and huge tar bumps, we made it to the border on Friday morning, just to be told that they would not let us in until the 12th December - so frustrating when we were within a week of Ulan Ude, and it would be our own faults for putting so late a date on it.

"Although we had not expected to reach the border in less than 3 weeks.They took our papers and passports and kept them for about 3 hours before telling us they couldn't let us through. We had been so optimistic that we could pay for an extra week. It was grand to meet the Team Khan't Hold Us and the Mongelone twice en route then the third time when we were going the wrong direction back into Kazakhstan. Our map started disintegrating on the first day of use, so we were glad to put it away at the border, but have had to rescue it again

"So we headed down the 800 odd kms (or along?) to Astana to see if we can persuade the Russian Embassy to advance our visa - not optimistic though. Such a pity as we were doing so well. Some truly awful roads and some fantastic ones. Kay is great at finding camping spots, though we have had a digger digging a track not far from us late one night, then someone shining a light into the car. And she likes to tell me about the serial killers she is reading about and how they do away with their victims - just the thing for lonely spots!! However we were very pleased to be joined last night, when they noticed The Green Machine parked just off a very, very bumpy road, by team Where are we now (we were near Pavlidor) with their magnificent vehicle.

"So Kay and I are now in a motel in Astana hoping the embassy will be open on Monday. Read on a sign at about 4.30pm that it was 33C - it is very hot if you are outside, but the van stays amazingly cool, thankfully."


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