Sunday, 12 October 2008

Big trip to Big Almaty Lake

We are just back from a great day out, testing the Landcruiser's off road abilities and making our way to the Big Almaty Lake, a breathtakingly beautiful spot of turquoise water, snowy mountains, frosty slopes and wonderful clambering about on rocks.


After a short walk and picnic lunch, Husband decided to follow the example of some very hardy outdoorsy-looking people and jump into the turquoise water for a dip. They had got down to
 their speedoes and were half way across the lake. He stripped down to his pants, pranced about on the edge of the turquiose water, jumped in, almost had a heart attack, and with what looked like very primal instinct kicking in, ran as fast as he could out of the water, charged about flapping his arms for a while making a strange gasping noise and put his clothes back on. A few minutes later the hardy locals swam back to shore at a leisurely pace, calmly dried themselves off and got back into their shorts and T-shirts (we were all wearing our gor-tex hiking jackets). 

Then we drove a little further up the track to the Tian Shan Astronomical Observatory where you can stay in slightly basic Soviet rooms, but see the stars at night through a giant telescope. The whole place looks like something out of a James Bond set, hidden away in the mountains in Kazakhstan, slightly crumbling and next to this amazing lake. We will try to go back at night before the winter really sets in. 

It was brilliant. We finished the day with some mouthwateringly-good Shashlik kebabs at a well-known Georgian restaurant on the road back into Almaty. 

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