Wednesday 2nd August - The looonngg ferry ride to Kazakhstan
We were fed breakfast in the 'boiling-room-of-death' at 8:30am. It was still just as hot as the day before. Breakfast consisted of eggs and cheese; the stuff of champions!
There's very little to do on a cargo ferry to keep yourself occupied. Most ralliers went up onto the top deck and lazed about. The English lads opted to sunbathe. This proved to be a painful mistake when, hours later, they revealed to us all the bubbling red skin under their tshirts. English skin can't handle the heat. Patrick went around taking photos and chatting with other ralliers, Natalie listened to her ipod, Haylee finished her Outlander novel and James chilled in the sun. In hindsight, despite the ferry nearing on the verge of death by boredom we quite enjoyed a driving-free day.
The sea breeze and view of the vast blue ocean was a welcome sight compared to a stuffy car and long stretch of highway.
Of course, with nothing to do all day we waited and waited for the PA announcement of lunch time. It was the only thing to break up a very monogamous day. As soon as that announcement was made (despite not even being in English) we all knew to run over to the boiling-room-of-death for some food. Lunch was chicken on lentils and soup once again. Just what you want to eat inside a room that feels like your face is melting off. Patrick and Haylee asked for some water bottles, this was lost in translation and they were given two bottles of Sprite.
Following lunch we picked our brains for things to do. Patrick and Haylee sat with Team Honeymoon and played a game guessing capital cities around the world. James Nat got to know some of the solo Mongol Rally travellers. Eventually we all got talking to Henry who wasn on the Mongol Rally at all. Henry lives in Kazakhstan but is from the UK. He's a teacher in Astana (the capital of Kazakhstan) and has been there for three years. He couldn't speak more highly of Kazakhstan and how he enjoys living there. Henry hadn't expected anyone to be on the ferry so was pleasantly surprised when all us smelly ralliers got on the boat with him. Much better company than a bunch of truckers.
The temperature on the boat was so much more bearable now it was the afternoon. Our English friends had turned into human tomatoes after feeling the effects of sunbathing on the top deck. The announcement was made over the PA that it was dinner time, everyone ran for the boiling-room-of-death to get stuck into dinner. We'd all arrived at the same time, ravenous for dinner. There was no room for everyone to fit in the room; no worries! We ventured outside the room to find somewhere else to sit. The common area with two couches provided a nice spot to eat. Ten minutes later red-pants-dragon-lady came screaming at us to move back to the dining room. We just played the 'I don't understand you' card and continued to eat until she gave up and walked away.
Following dinner we were asked to gather in the common room to get our passports back (we'd all had them taken off us upon boarding). It was like winning the lottery. A little old man sat at a table in the with approx 50 passports in his hands. He called out name after name and we clapped when someone got theirs back. If a passport wasn't claimed we quickly announcing them as "lost at sea!". We then went and all sat up on the top deck to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Caspian Sea, quite a sight to finish our cruise across the waters. Despite the temperature dropping considerably the boys still opted to sleep outside. We were expected to dock in the early hours of the morning so went to bed with most of our stuff packed.