Across the Deserts in Kazakhstan
The world was gray without any visible contours of clouds, making it impossible to see where the horizon separated the earth and the sky. It was a depressing start to our off-road journey across the Aralkum Desert and the Mangystau Plateau to the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan.
Driving Around and Across the Aral Sea
Our starting point was Aralsk, once a main port on the Aral Sea. Known to be the fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea became one of the world’s biggest environmental disasters. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union started using the water of rivers that fed the lake for irrigation projects. Twenty years ago, only 10 percent of the original 26,300 square miles of the water surface was left, divided over four small lakes.
In the 1990s, the Soviet Union collapsed. The South Aral Sea became part of Uzbekistan and the North Aral Sea part of Kazakhstan (where we are). In 2004, the North Aral Sea had shrunk to the point where the Aralsk Port w.... Continue Reading at Expedition Portal