My definition of wanderlust is bravely navigating past the senior citizens and frappuccino-drinking teenagers in the isles at a Barnes and Noble. (By Carrie Crain, housewife extraordinaire)
Oddly, I went beyond that when I vacationed in a remote town near the Caspian Sea divided by the Ural River called Atyrau. It’s in Kazakhstan, which used to be Russia. Before entering the country, you must have an LOI or Letter of Invitation from the government, Visa and updated passport. There are only two places that fly into Atyrau: Amsterdam and Istanbul. Air Astana is the only airline that flies into Atyrau, and it’s not cheap.
Atyrau is a city that is 220 miles north of the Tengiz oil field, which is the world’s deepest producing super giant. Atyrau resides in both Asia and Europe. And, bragging to your friends and family back home with the fact that you’ve hiked back-and-forth from Europe to Asia each day will impress them. During my stay, I toured the market, which sold everything from fake Gucci shoes, stylish Russian hats, Uzbek bread and sheep’s heads. Sheep’s head is served on special occasions where the guest of honor may have to eat the brain, tongue or eyeball. Luckily, I was never the guest of honor.
I also visited an archaeological site in the ancient town of Saraishik, Kazakhstan. I trudged in the mud discovering broken pottery pieces, skulls and buying old coins from local kids.
On my last day, we toured a camel farm where approximately 600-700 roamed. The dromedaries grazed near an ancient cemetery. I took a zillion photos and ate a picnic lunch while reading about dead people. Then, a lopsided-hump camel spit towards my direction.
CARRIE CRAIN is a housewife extraordinaire who has bipolar. She is a soon-to-be-published author of a zany, adventurous children’s novella. www.carriecrain.com