The Endless Steppe and the Aral Sea (Also, Giant Spiders): 14 Photos from the Road

2 thoughts on “The Endless Steppe and the Aral Sea (Also, Giant Spiders): 14 Photos from the Road”

  1. 1. I had thought of steppe as waving seas of grass, not the bleak desert you found. I can understand how when you seen one such verst you’ve seen ’em all.
    2 I had also thought that the name for the fierce Cossack horsemen that broke up masses of revolutionaries in the Russian Revolution might be derived from “Khazak,” but Google says No — it comes from the Turkic word for “free men.” So, go figure!
    3. Better keep those giant spiders there in Khazakstan. Ten thousand miles from here seems about right.
    4. Your travels have made us much more aware of the geography of that part of the world. Thanks for keeping us up to date with your vivid pix and captions.


    1. Don’t quite know for sure what Cossack denotes, but it seems to be an ethnic distinction, and I’ve encountered at least one person who referred to “Cossack hospitality” in reference to himself, though that was filtered through Google translationand I don’t know what the equivalent Russian terms are (he was seemingly an ethnic Kazakh). I found this post explaining that they have a common etymology but refer to different groups, but on the ground here there seems to be some overlap:


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