The morning was fresh with sun shining and birds chirping. Ideal. We only managed to leave at 9:30 while the others would have left around 7am. So we had a lot of catching up to do. In town we took several wrong turns before we were on the road to the highway. Once there we could make great progress. The road was initially double lane and smooth. Along the way we saw some eagles and lots of bird nest in the tree’s. It was a beautiful rolling steppe landscape and since the road was smooth you could enjoy it. There was also not much traffic. Along the way we saw some Muslim cemeteries with graves in the shape of mosques. At a few places there were ridges to cross with in-between a small river. At one spot we even saw snow on the side of the road.
Closer to Aktobe the road was under construction again and we slowed down to 40 – 60 km. Just before town we caught up with Fred at a tank station but subsequently lost him in town. After lots of twists and turn we found our way to the new Mosque and Cathedral which are next to each other. They were opened by the Russian and Kazakhstan presidents jointly. Since it was our first big mosque we entered it. On the way out we tanked some diesel (not as common as petrol so you better keep filled up) and made our way to a nice camp site behind some bushes off the main road. The others were there already.