Meneghina Express’ numbers:

12379 Kilometers in 44 days

350 hours riding

297 batteries recharged

12 countries

4500Kg Co2 reduced vs. gas

Day 23 - Kazakhstan flag - July 2

From Kurchatov to Ekibastus

At seven in the morning, the windows of the tenement in which we slept, which overlooks the square where they are parked ours pick-up, arrives an happy music. Reggae and Dance-Hall, we imagine that it's accompanying the breakfast of some guys we have seen, the night before, climb the same staircases that we have gone through, and enter into the apartments with discretion, in the silence.

The Caribbean rhythms, make us remember what from the very first entry in Kazaksthan we could not help but notice in many ravines - Hemp plants that grow wild. It seems absurd, when we think of as in most European countries this plant a thousand properties - and hundreds of other uses being demonized, especially if used for the purpose "recreational". Paradoxical that its demonization, results in other countries as one of the most modern ways adjutants for the treatment of some serious health problems, such as multiple sclerosis, anorexia, asthma and a lot of other diseases. Far from wanting to write a treatise on the marijuana, we ask to Mustapha which relationship the Kazakhs have with this plant. Here, in the central part of the country, we have not seen anything, as we are told. In the south, the plants grow everywhere, lush and fillers, although only a part of the population uses the nectar, producing medicines with the method linked to the ancient tradition, herbal teas and infusions relaxing. Or, simply, smoking the essence more valuable. It is not clear what the law provides, and in the doubt we have left intact any plant we met on our way.

It is a music steady, regular, that which accompanies our day: it is a transfer without great emotions, if not those that govern always our adventure, or rather the fact of being in a distant country, different from all those who we have seen up to now, to try to complete the longest trip to the World made with electric bikes. And it is precisely the electricity that in the evening, after three hundred and thirty kilometers of undefined territory, brings us some problems. 
The streets, for now, don't show too many potholes.

Going back to the electricity and the evening - which comes after a day of transfer towards Astana, that we'll achieve tomorrow - it happens (every day) that we have to recharge the batteries of motorcycles and also all the other replacement batteries, which allow to Nicola and Valerio of covering an average of three hundred miles a day. We need about 6 KW and ... therefore, proportionally, it seems to us of being Marty who in "Back to the Future," tells to Doc how much power he needs in the flow of the catalyst of the DeLorean in order to go back in 1985. We also need a lot of electricity, but if accidentally the chargers hook up to the "normal outlet" by means of an extension cord, and more precisely to the plug of the refuge inhabited by an old woman who oversees the parking of the hotel where we are staying, then it can happen that the outlet goes up in flame.

And also the little old woman could risk of passing away at the hands of six visionaries who prefer the electricity to the fuel, paradoxically much more flammable. Yet in this parking, no car has ever caught fire. 
Emphasis aside, the kind lady hasn't risked even a hair and laughed with us for the grotesque situation, but it certainly has taken a fright when the side of the TV which broadcast a soap Russian-Korean, it has seen a blaze and a small cloud of smoke has marred the scene of the kiss between Irina and Yantaci.
 We smile too, and we think that it would not hurt to allow ourselves a dinner earlier than usual, a couple of local beers in the bottle, and a bed for sleeping. Tomorrow we'll move to Astana: a stage that approximately represents the completion of the first half of our trip. And it is, for the uninitiated, the capital of Kazaksthan.

Text and photos by Flavio Allegretti

Path traveled today