Tea growing near Pu Mat National Park at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Con Cuong (Pu Mat National Park), Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

A nice day up in the mountains of Kazakhstan

Yesterday morning, we took a taxi up into the mountains. Our goal was to get to Big Almaty Lake, but there was a lot of conflicting information online about whether or not the road was open, and we didn't know how much snow was going to be up there.

When you use the Yandex taxi app, it's very similar to Uber... when a driver is assigned to you, you can see the rating of the driver. This one was fairly low, but I didn't think anything of it at the time.

Turns out the rating was accurate. Probably the worst taxi driver we've had here, and most of them have been really good. This guy spent more time on his phone than he did paying attention to the road. And not just talking... he was doing video calls, and text chats etc.

But, we made it up there, and found that we could only get to within 5 kms of where we wanted to get. We don't mind doing the walking, but it meant we wouldn't have time to make it all the way to the lake.

And, there was more snow on the ground than we wanted.

It was really pretty though!

Waterfall.

The road was covered, and very slippery.

We are headed up there!

The temperature was pleasant enough, at about 7C (45F).

We were really close to the Kyrgyzstan border.


On the sunny side, the road was clear.



Kazakhstan selfie!


A little more time and we would have climbed up there!

The only problem was that we didn't know how far we were going to have to walk to get a taxi back. The main entrance gate to the park was about 12 kms (7.5 miles) back down the road from where we ended up turning around. But at least it was all downhill.

This is as far as we went.


We do love the mountains!

The visitors center.

Big Almaty Lake supplies Almaty with its fresh water.
So there is a dam system they've built to control the flow.

Ruth, walking down the stairs at the control dam.

We ended up walking all the way to the main gate. We did just over 16 kms (10 miles), but only the first 4 kms were uphill. The next 12 were all downhill!

A bit of an expensive hike, because the total of the taxis was 6,640 tenge ($19.50 CAD, $14.50 USD), but it felt great to get out into the fresh air in the mountains and away from the city.

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Record low deal on this Big Horn Outdoor Pizza Oven.

And in Canada...

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