I had a good night's sleep and time to think in the morning. I had breakfast with Jeff Robinson from car 8 (the 1928 Dodge tourer) who has been suffering from the night driving with poor lights. He was run off the road in the dark last night causing minor damage. There are crews from two Lagondas and the 1920 Stutz in the hotel who are trucking to Almaty where we have two “rest” days; I made an executive decision to do the same. After much negotiation, delay, and signing of documents the cars left on a transporter at midnight, to arrive on Sunday afternoon which will give us a day for repairs before setting off for Shymkent - a 730 km journey, hopefully over paved roads.
With Jeff and his navigator Rob, Mickey and Andrew from the Stutz, we went to arrange tickets to fly from Semey to Almaty. There were six available when Jeff and I checked earlier in the morning but when we went to pay there were only four. Plan B came into effect. The drivers would fly and the navigators would travel by sleeper train.
Colin and Rob hightailed it to the station and after Rob bought tickets to the capital Astana instead of Almaty, things were sorted and the correct tickets obtained. Then they boarded the wrong train. Station staff helped and they eventually made it onto the right train and found their first class 4 berth sleeper cabin. Two locals had claimed the lower berths. Colin climbed into his berth and slept for 18 hours of the 20 hour journey. The cabins were best described as cattle class as in Queensland Rail K wagon cattle trucks.