To stay in Kazakhstan 5 or more days you have to register although its not the easiest solution as the registration office is only open limited hours on limited days, of is meant to be free but travellers often get charged a “registration” fee. Too avoid queuing and potentially not being able to register I decided to leave the country.
As I have done so now on a number of occasions I caught a city bus to the long distance bus station where I went in, to the same desk as before, and brought a ticket to Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). I had to wait at least half an hour before the bus was full and we could leave, it then took around 3 hours to get to the border which was quite straight forward, it took us less than an hour to clear the crossing, half an hour later we were in Bishkek.
At Bishkek bus terminal I bought a drink and a packet of crisps and then a return ticket to Almaty, again aw had to wait ages for thee bus to fill and even when there were no spare seats we didn’t leave for another 10 minutes or so. Eventually we were back on the road but it was already mid afternoon by now. Back at the border there was a slightly longer wait to cross but in total it was only about an hour. On the journey from the border to Almaty we followed the line of mountains again and I was able to watch another impressive sunset before getting to the outskirts in darkness.
Getting back to the hostel was easier said than done as there were roadworks and the traffic was moving very slowly. I jumped on one bus which was able to take me 1/3 of the way and then I walked the rest of the way and during that time (about 40 minutes) not a single bus drove past so I felt vindicated that I decided to walk.