28-Aug-2004 -- My trip to the 47N/54E CP actually began back in 2002 while in Indonesia working on a project for ChevronTexaco. I worked with Clark Rushing, who recorded the first CP visit in Indonesia. Clark told me of the Degree Confluence Project which sparked my interest. Not much happened for the next couple years as I returned to the US, which is pretty well visited. A couple months ago I began to make plans to visit my friend, Teresa Blackburn, in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, and ran across the DCP website by accident. Reviewing the Atyrau page I decided to make plans to visit a site during my trip as only two sites in southwest Kazakhstan had been documented.
As with most developing countries the logistics of making a site visit were very difficult for a non-resident. For the next several weeks Teresa and I discussed how we would make the visit. The planning for the visit was aided with the inclusion of Dinara Abilkhairova. Dinara was invaluable in helping with logistics and translation (Teresa and I do not speak Russian and our local contacts spoke very little English). Originally expecting to have a 12 hour travel day over rough roads, we were finally able to secure air transportation to within a couple hours of the site. We flew from Atyrau to Tengiz where we met our driver, Sisengali Sarmanov.
With Sisen at the wheel we began our journey North toward the city of Kulsary. Sisen was from Kulsary and knew the area well. Also, some of Dinara’s family came from nearby tribes and lived in the area for generations so she was very familiar with the area and its’ history. On the way, we passed through miles of wide open desert. We made several stops to photograph herds of camels, local cemeteries and other points of interest. During one of the stops, we had our picture taken with a camel (Sisen used to raise camels so he was comfortable approaching the animals). Our CP was located a few miles North of Kulsary. As we approached the site we again came across a herd of camels. The site is located within a mile of the main highway near a dry river bed, and is covered with low lying plants and grasses. In the distance a large compressor station moves some of the area’s gas production to market. The site visit was completed with a photo record.
After returning to Tengiz we caught our flight back to Atyrau, and celebrated our visit at a local Irish Pub (in Atyrau Kazakhstan).