Between the plains surrounding the city of Tashkent and the mountain kingdom we take a road that crosses the southern steppe country of Kazakhstan. These vast swages of rolling grassland have been home to the nomadic Kazaks for hundreds of years. Unlike the Uzbeks, the Kazaks were never really a settled people, preferring the nomadic way of life. They are great horseman and the similarities between them and their northern neighbours the Mongols is striking. Their origins stem back to the time of Genghis Khan and they are a Turkic/Mongol race. Kazakhstan is the largest of the ex Soviet Central Asian countries that we visit.