The weather condition is always a key factor in an overland trip. Often the roads are in a bad condition without street lighting at night. Especially without a 4×4 it is important to consider weather -and road conditions before departing. The roads can be extremely slippery and when there is no tarmac this could potentially result in getting stuck. During winter time it can get dark as early as four o’clock in certain areas making timing equally important. People also tend to drive as maniacs, regardless of said conditions. These considerations combined with the fact that sleeping in a car without isolation with minus five degrees can be a bit freezing made us decide to leave the car in Central Asia during winter time.
Where did we find storage for the car?
Trying to find out trustworthy long-term car storage is easier than you might think. Our plan was to store the car in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, we were not able to find any car long-term car storage with reviews of foreigners that parked their vehicle there for a longer period. There is an app available showing all the parking options in Almaty (see caravanistan for more info). One could consider storing it there and paying the fee for a couple of months before leaving. One major concern though is that the car battery should be disengaged otherwise it will be empty once you get back. Because we did not have time to drive around in Almaty until we found proper storage, we chose to leave it in Bishkek. The drive was less far plus we already had two options for safe, cheap and long-term parking there.
What are the costs?
First, there is a company called Iron Horse Nomads that will park and take care of your car for a longer period. We decided to leave the car with motorent. Once we arrived in Bishkek, we went by to look at the parking space. It was a big open space with some garages and it seemed fine. They were very professional and showed us another car that was stored for winter. We got this contact from Steven from caravanistan which made us feel more secure about the trustworthiness of the guy. For $30 a month he will store your car outside and for $45 it is in inside storage. For an extra 50$ they also promised to start the car every two weeks do the battery won’t discharge and change the oil -and filters. The only preparations we did it discharge the solar panel battery and clean the car thoroughly.
Now that we found safe storage for the car it’s time to explore more of Asia. We will stay in Beijing for a couple of days before we take off to Japan where we will be working for a few weeks, read more about that later.