I left Zharkent early in the morning…
…because I wanted to get as far as I could before the sun started punishing the land.
I walked down a long tree-lined road:
And I saw a cyclist once. He looked like an old man, and he had a Swiss flag attached to his bicycle. He didn’t stop. In fact, he didn’t even seem to look at me. He just kept doing whatever it was he was doing. Seeing the world, I guess.
Then there was a sign:
Almaty Алматы. Some 300+ kilometers. That looked almost close.
I passed places where people were selling fruit:
And sometimes I saw farmhouses with neat little fences and fruit trees:
Then I suddenly reached a hotel:
Or rather, I didn’t know that it was a hotel. All I knew was that there was apparently a disco of some sort in this building:
I never found the disco. Or maybe it was just the banquet hall that I photographed:
Or it was the room with the sauna and the pool table:
I hesitated for a little while. It wasn’t even noon yet, and I had only walked 19km. Wouldn’t staying here mean wasting at least half of a good walking day?
I got a room:
The place was run by middle-aged ladies who never seemed to smile. They had a tiny little cat:
I played with it for a while:
Then I went outside and found this little dog that also wanted to play:
“You have cats AND dogs!” I told one of the non-smiling ladies.
“No,” she answered, in her non-smiling way: “just cats.”
This one turned out to be a stray dog.
But it was cute anyway.