Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by boonie.g »

Hi Julia,

Thanks for replying. It's rushed cos I wasn't initially planning on going to Kyrgyzstan via the Eastern route. Was gonna go to Bishkek and then to Karakol. But then I decided to start my hike from Jyrgalan instead and the more I looked at it, the more it made sense to enter via the Karkara border and take in the canyon and the lakes along the way.

I'll have to see if I can spare an extra day at Saty so that I can do:

Day 1: Almaty - Saty - Kaindy lake - Saty / camp at Kaindy lake (I have a tent)
Day 2: Saty - Kolsai 1 and 2 (3 is restricted access?)
Day 3: Saty - Charyn canyon (morning) - Kegen - Karkara - Jyrgalan

Does this seem feasible? I'll be there on weekdays in early July. Will there be reliable traffic for hitchhiking?
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by Julia »

From what I remember during the week it's a low traffic from Saty to the lakes.
Don't know how soon you'll stop a car.
We hitchhiked but we were not limited with time. We were ready to hike for the whole day if there's no cars.
Traffic to Kaindy was very low.
Other travellers told me they partly walked partly hitchhiked.
If you're limited with time and don't feel like walking for 9 hours in case nobody stops than I don't know. Can't tell for sure if hitchhiking will be fast.
Are you limited with time?

The third Kolsay lake is closed for visitors.
Don't forget to take your passport. You'll be checked.

For your day 3 to get out of Saty take a taxi Saty-Almaty.
They leave in the morning. Don't know when exactly. Ask drivers in advance about departure time.

If you miss that taxi it'll be difficult to get from Saty to the main highway. Traffic is very low.
But as soon as you get to the main road than hitchhiking is ok (especially for little payment) because traffic on the highway is good.

That means in the morning on your day 3 you already need to be in Saty. So on day 2 shouldn't camp at Kolsay lakes and should get back to the village.

I doubt it's possible to visit all those places in 3 days by hitchhiking as per your plan.

If you're limited with time try to hire a driver.
Or skip some of the lakes or Charyn.
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