Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

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PaulB
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Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by PaulB »

Hi,

We are going group of 4 end of August to AlmaAty. I'm planning trip, so maybe someone can advise me how to plan Canyon + Saty (Kaingdy and Kolsay Lakes) in best way?

I was thinking about using shared taxis or bus early morning to go to Canyon and then somehow come to Saty, spend night there and go to see Kaingdy and Kolsai 1 in the same day. Next day going to Kegen and try to find transport to Karakol. What do you think about it? Maybe we should plan in different way? Is it really hard to find transport to cross border there?

Any advices how to manage this part of trip? I will be grateful!
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steven
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by steven »

I think hitchhiking is your best option if you want to do it cheap. You can get a car in the morning from Almaty to take you as far as Charyn, after that there is no regular transport.
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Julia
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by Julia »

Hi.
There are shared taxis at 7 am every day from Saykhat bus station to Saty.
So I'd go to Saty first. If you go to Charyn first than it'll be hard to find a car to Saty from Charyn.
My suggestion is
1. Go from Almaty to Saty with that shared taxi.
2. Enjoy Kolsay lakes and Kaindy lake.
3. Early morning shared taxi from Saty to Almaty. But get off at the road turn to Charyn.
Walk or hitchhike to Charyn.
4. Enjoy Charyn.
5. Walk or hitchhike to main road from Charyn. There is a good trafic there. Hitchhike to Kegen.
6. Hitchhike to Karkara border and further to Karakol.
Quite low trafic there. But two different travellers recently hitch hiked there and said it was ok. They didn't wait too long for a car to pick them up. The scenery on the way is amazing.
I guess you can find a taxi from Kegen to Karakol too when you there. But taxi drivers may ask for insane prices. That's what they do it Saty to the lakes.
So better to hitch hike. Often cars that pick you up expect some money. So you pay little price but get a car seat.
If you have enough time and can wait and have a tent in case of no cars, than can try that.

Another option is to get back to Almaty. And look for shared taxis to Karakol from Almaty.
But most of them go there through Korday border. As drivers say the road conditions are better that way. So from Almaty they prefer that way.
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Julia
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by Julia »

Oh, I see you're a group of 4 people.
Can be hard to hitchhike.
What is the purpose of going to Karakol through Karkara?
Can get back to Almaty and go to Karakol through Korday or Chernaya Rechka.
I know it's a bit longer and kind of detour. But as road is good cars go pretty fast.
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PaulB
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by PaulB »

Julia wrote:Oh, I see you're a group of 4 people.
Can be hard to hitchhike.
What is the purpose of going to Karakol through Karkara?
Can get back to Almaty and go to Karakol through Korday or Chernaya Rechka.
I know it's a bit longer and kind of detour. But as road is good cars go pretty fast.
Hi Julia, thanks for your messages and advices.
We were thinking just not to coming back to Almaty, justto go further through Karkara. We will see how it goes and decide.
Just tell me, in Saty or Kegen, are there enough places that we can find accomodation without booking? We consider taking tent, not decided yet. And what do you think, from Saty to Kegen (if we decide doing Canyon first) is it hard to find shared transport?
And last question - from intersection of roads where is direction to Canyon, is it road only 4x4 ? I ve read that most of shared taxis can pick you up only to this place and later is only hitch hiking or walk.
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Julia
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by Julia »

Hi

1. There are homestays in Saty. Can find a bed in a local house during the week without booking in advance.
During the weekends - Friday and Saturday nights when most group tours come there - could be shortage of accomodation sometimes.
As for Kegen I don't know anything about accomodation there.

2. I don't think there is regular shared transport from Saty to anywhere except Almaty.
Your option is to find a taxi car in Saty and arrange it to Kegen yourself.
Another option, if nobody agrees to go to Kegen, is to take shared taxi that goes to Almaty.
But you get off when you get to the road A-351 (I guess you checked the map and see what I mean).
Usually it's not a problem to stop a car to Kegen from that main road. Kind of hitch hiking for money. You stop cars, explaine where you need to go and agree about prices. Or can try hitch hiking for free also. But that may take longer time.
Shared taxis from Saty to Almaty leave in the morning.
I don't remember exact time. Better if you ask around when you get there.

3. They are buiding a new road there. It's not finished though. If I'm not mistaken only last 3-4 km are still really bumpy. So taxi can take you further than that intersection. Some people on sedan type of cars drove there. But they had to slow down much. That's way I think taxi drivers don't want to go there, don't want to waste time slowing down.

I advised to do Charyn Canyon after Kolsay because if you do the canyon first than it'll be hard to get to Saty village from the canyon.
Unless you have a driver that will take you from the canyon. Because taxis from Almaty to Saty go full and directly to the village. So you'll miss them. The road A-351 has good traffic so no problem to get till the intersection with P-16 road that goes to Saty.
But the road P-16 especially it's last part to Saty has low traffic. And it's a long way to Saty.
So this part will be hard and can take long time especially for a group of 4 people.
That's why I suggested to take a taxi directly from Almaty to Saty.
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guido
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by guido »

I'll take advantage of this discussion to ask some more questions for my own trip now I'm getting a better picture of everything.

I'm considering to go and sleep in Saty to vist the lakes.
I'd like to know if this planing would be reasonable:

* day 1:
take the taxi at 7 am... and I think I'll be there around 12, right?
"Check-in" with the accommodation, have maybe lunch in the place, and by 2pm get on my way to Kaindy lake.
If I got it right, there's a road getting quite close to the lake... so I guess I could take a taxi or hitch-hike/share a car with other travellers. So I should make it.. sunset is around 7pm. Really worst case scenario I'll walk back to the village in 2 hours or so.

* day 2:
Have the whole day for Kolsay lakes (again I think a road takes you easily to the first one, then just hike).
Go back to sleep in Saty.

* Day 3:
Leave in the morning to the canyon (taxi till the turn, then hitchhike I guess).. and is there any way to sleep there? (I'll have a sleeping bag, but not a tent with me). If possible, I'd spend time visiting in the afternoon and morning after, if not I'd go back to Almaty at some point.

My hope is anyway to team up with other travellers at some point and maybe rent a car (i'd prefer to drive on my own, without a driver)... things would definitely be easier.
If anybody is interested, I'm planning this from 16th or 17th of september (I'd avoid the more crowded weekend, but by 20th afternoon I have to be back in almaty as I fly back the morning after). Drop me a private message if interested.
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Julia
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by Julia »

Hi

If you don't have your own tent then better to try to find a car to Kaindy in Saty. And make sure that the car will take you back from the lake to the village too.
The road from Saty to the lake takes about 6 hours by walking. If you start at 2 pm and don't meet cars you have a risk to get to the lake when it's already dark.

Without a tent it's really risky to walk that far and not be able to have a proper place to sleep.
And during the week there are not many cars on that way.
Better if you try to find a transport in the village.
Or start walking in the morning. But think about if you're ok to walk 6 hours one way and maybe again 6 hours back.
Some people walked the whole way to the lake but they had tents and camped next to the lake. And walked back the next day.
To do all that hiking in one day is quite intense.


As for accomodation in Charyn. There are yurts and bungalows there to rent. Can check here http://eco-park.kz/index_en.html

But they are pretty expensive for one person. So having your own tent would be better.
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boonie.g
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by boonie.g »

Hi,

Piggybacking off of this thread a bit.

@Julia, you mentioned the following in your first post.
Julia wrote: My suggestion is
1. Go from Almaty to Saty with that shared taxi.
2. Enjoy Kolsay lakes and Kaindy lake.
3. Early morning shared taxi from Saty to Almaty. But get off at the road turn to Charyn.
Walk or hitchhike to Charyn.
Is it possible to visit both Kolsai lakes and Kaindy lake in one day from Almaty?
If I get a shared taxi from Sayakhat bus station at 7am, I'll arrive at Saty around 11am - noon? So I'll have to find a car to Kaindy and back to Saty. And then another car to Kolsai 1 and back? Would there also be time to hike from Kolsai 1 to Kolsai 2 or would that be pushing it?

Thanks for your help!
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Julia
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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Post by Julia »

Hi.

There is no certain schedule for taxis so they leave Almaty when they get full. And arriving time can vary. Usually they get to Saty around midday, yes.
Btw, haven't checked yet if those taxis operate this year.

Whether you manage to visit Kaindy and Kolsay 1 withing a day depends on how quickly you arrange a car in Saty.
You may need to change cars and arrange it a few times because most usual cars can get to Kolsay 1. But need 4x4 for Kaindy.
It all is time consuming.
And you certainly don't have time for hiking up to Kolsay 2 and back (if you need to get back to Saty afterwards).
I know some travelers who visited Kaindy and Kolsay 1 withing a day. But they hired a personal driver for the whole trip. So they didn't spend time to look for cars and negotiation. That was fast with not much time at each spot.
Why get in rush to spoil the impression of that place?))
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