From Omsk we followed the M51 a bit more but then turned north towards Tobolsk (637 KM). The secondary road was a lot better than the 2-lane “highway”. First of all there were no trucks and because of that the road was in good condition. Second it went through a nice forest with larger pine trees. There were also several villages and they seemed more affluent than the ones we had seen to date. Maybe the oil money is spent on improving the local road and the locals also find employment there. Jeroen had provided a waypoint of an old wooden mosque. We decided to drive there and make camp. The mosque was seriously falling apart. It looked more like a church and the only distinguishing feature was the moon crescent on top of the spire. We parked in the village in front of it.


Later Jamaliah provided the local youths with bouncing balls. Tatar populates the area. In general they are descendants of Uzbekistan tribes and are Muslim. One of them (Nariman, 21 ) spoke fluent enough Malay because he is studying at the university in Java. Jamaliah enjoyed speaking Malay and for him it was a good practice before he has to go back in September. We were invited for tea in their house. It makes a great difference if you can communicate with the locals. It provides you with a much better understanding of their habits and way of thinking. Unfortunately there were very few opportunities for this along the trip. We will try to learn some Spanish for the future trip through South America.

Jamaliah with Veprev and his mother