Day 01 : 23rd May, 2012- Delhi- Almaty Kazakhstan

10.50 p.m.: I am sitting at 18D Seat of Air Bus 320.  There are lots of Indian passengers in this flight. A small bottle of water followed by a cup of coffee had been served. There are many Kazakh men and women around me. They have brought lots of baggage probably purchased in India. Many are carrying boxes of Mangoes. There are two women sitting by my side. They speak Russian.  Shashi, Nishi, Manas, Dave, Satish, Narender and Vikas came to the Airport to see me off. Earlier Amit came to give me 1000 US $ which I had asked. Vikas brought 800 from Stic Agency. Today Dollar rate is equal to Rs.57.20, highest ever. I have misplaced 1000 US $ that I’d bought yesterday. I searched for it a couple of hours but could not find it at home.

This is first day of my backpacking tour. It has been a day of confusion. Packing & repacking was done. All the relevant papers, foreign exchange, credit cards etc, all have been put in place.  Camera and Movie Camera have been fully charged.

I am going without any knowledge about Almaty. As my deliberate plan, I did not read any travel book. I wanted to explore myself. I am going to meet the people and know more about them rather than the monuments and museums which I have seen enough in the world. I met many Indian travelers in the flight and before that also. I am surprised to see some Indian tourists and also a group of them.  This group was going to Bishkek. The tour operator met in the plane. He chatted with me and offered to take me in his Bus to Bishkek. I politely declined his invitation.

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