Monday, April 10, 2006

"I don't see any god up here"

My codriver has gone and found The Baikonnur Cosmodrome. This is the type of thing I have him along for.

I have long held an unnatural fixation with Baikonnur, mainly do to an adolescent attraction to space travel combined with an appreciation for the Soviet aesthetic when it comes to branding and the soviet space effort in general. They have this sort of no-BS-and-look-good-doing-it thing going on that I've always appreciated. And I believe Baikonner is where Sputnik launched from, where Laika left on her journey, and where Yuri Gagarin left to be the first human in space. Holler!

For this reason, I would really like to go to the east of the Aral Sea. The route map shows a split around it, but the road maps I have seen thus far don't actually show any appealing road options, just a railroad track to the east and south that runs down the center of Uzbekistan, and marked roads that run down the southern border of Kazakhstan but would require backtracking to hit the checkpoint in Samarkand. A direct-ish route around the north side of the Aral sea to Samarkand would be much, much appreciated.

Regarding the Aral sea, it has come to my attention that, "this place seems wicked awesome."


Blogger Rod Farva said...

I might have something to do with the 'awesome' comment, so I should clarify that visually 'awesome' contrasts with the massive environmental devastation caused by drying up a major water resource in the region, and the chemical problems from pesticides and the Soviet biological weapons testing et cetera et cetera. Man, the Soviets laid the beatdown on the Central Asian environment!

1:05 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Did you read about Anthrax island?

At some point my mind stops perceiving reality and starts treating the possibility of desert flats overrun by pests infected with Soviet-grade biological weapons as a Mad Max film. That we will somehow be in.

11:22 AM  

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