STILL on the Ferry
08 August, 2012; 19:45
I suppose, at this point, I’ve nothing betterto do than make note of the updates we’ve recently discovered. As it stands now, our boat should reach the waters outside of Aktau around 7 am; unfortunately, we must then wait for the port to open a spot for us, which could take up to two days, at least by what we were told. Hoping for the best, I prepare for another full night on board.
The boredom has waned a bit as everyone seems to be adjusting well to the circumstances of our voyage. The heat is not so bad or the bugs once you’re outside the cabin, so much of our time is spent finding and occupying the most comfortable places on deck. Nearly 9 hours in, I haven’t felt any ill effects of drinking the water from the tap, so I’m assuming that I’ll be fine and keeping myself hydrated.
We’ve spent some more time with the Italians, eating their peanuts and just generally trying to keep occupied. I switched up the book I was reading for something easier and more entertaining; I was reading The World Set Free by H. G. Wells, but it is terribly full of comentary without much story. It is a prediction of a world where atomic energy has reshaped the very foundations of human society, and, while interesting, it doesn’t make for a very engrossing read. Rather, I think it would be better read a chapter at a time with intervals for consideration. Instead, I am reading The Time Machine, a Wells classic, and I’m finding it much easier to sit down to for extended periods. Strangely enough, both are speculations on the future of humanity.
So far on this trip, I’ve finished six books, and my current one will make seven. I hate to think that I’m missing great intervals of the journey with my head in a book, but on the more monotonous stretches, they provide a nice escape from quiet introspection, especially when conversation lulls.
Our team had its first “after Alyx” fight today, regarding our route once we reach Kazakhstan. We’ve had to amend our original route to avoid the Russian territory of Baikinor because we don’t have the proper visas. Instead, we’re taking the northern route through Astana, which, not only keeps us out of the more conservative South but also saves us around 600km of driving. In order to keep to the highways and see the Aral Sea, however, we’ll have to make a 1000km detour south and then back along the same road. Given the tightness of our budget, we think that would be an unacceptable waste of gas. Michael wants to take the backroads to Aralsk so that we can see the Aral Sea; I feel that this is unnecessarily risky and will probably cost us more in time than we care to spend, not to mention the potential for getting lost/stuck without gas.
Ultimately, I think we have decided to wait until we get into Aktau and look for internet; then we can conult satelite images and a much more accurate map to determine whether or not we’ll be able to navigate the smaller roads. At the very least, it should give me an opportunity to shoot out a couple of emails and put up a short post on the blog to reassure everyone reading along that I haven’t died or been taken prisoner.