Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

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PaulB
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Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Postby PaulB » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:14 pm

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

Postby steven » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:26 am

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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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Postby Julia » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:58 pm

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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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Postby Julia » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:06 pm

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

Postby PaulB » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:59 am

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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Re: Trip via Almaty - Karkara - Karakol

Postby Julia » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:41 pm

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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