Located in central Kazakhstan, the road from Jezkazgan to Kyzylorda is a challenging drive.
The road, also known as A344, is part of the European route E123. It’s 439 km (272 miles) long. The road includes paved and unpaved sections. It’s really wide, going through a cold desert climate weather. It leads through the several thousand square kilometers of the inhospitable landscape that separates the two cities. It varies between steppe and outright desert. First 130km are good asphalt (with 20km good dirt), then about 200km good dirt (mild corrugations but a nice drive at 80), then last 100km-ish is asphalt which varies from very bad to OK. This is total wilderness, a nice drive. The roads at the outskirts of Kzyl-Orda are terrible. The relentless sun literally melts the pavement and the heavy trucks operating there squeeze and deform the asphalt, rendering it almost unusable for smaller cars.
The road links Jezkazgan or Zhezkazgan, a city in Karaganda Region and Kyzylorda, formerly known as Kzyl-Orda, the capital of Kyzylorda Region. The road has very big potholes, and it’s lightly maintaned.
Pic: Tetrix Tetrix