Hiking and hitchhiking in one day? Why not?!

Hiking and hitchhiking in one day? Why not?!

Hitchhiking is something I wanted to do more of on this trip. I hitchhiked my longest route today. 270 km from Saty to Almaty. Four cars all of which I stopped in less than five minutes. Five hours. One flat tyre.

Saty is a village at the end of the world so to say. From the turnoff almost 60 km of unpaved road, paved road only in some villages. I was there to see the Kolsai lakes.

I started my hike from Kolsai lake 1 at 6.30 in the morning. I had said goodbye to my mates previous evening and left before they woke up.

Kolsai Lake 1 early in the morning

I reached Kolsai lake 2 in 1 hour 55 minutes. I had a cup of tea and a snack with some border guards who I started chatting with after one of them told me Kolsai lake 3 was off limits due to being too close to the border with Kyrgyzstan. I wasn’t much tempted to go there anyway as I wanted to hitch a ride to Almaty.

It’s easy to follow the trail. There are signs along the way
Kolsai Lakes are close to the border with Kyrgyzstan
Kolsai Lake 2

Kolsai lake 1, the largest of the three, is 14 km from Saty. After hiking more than 16 km I walked to the village because the first cars started appearing 200 metres before the village. Not a good start but then the four rides made up for it. The first person to give me a lift was a local who rented yurts in the village. He drove me to the end of the village where I stopped a car with Russian tourists who I had met and briefly interacted with in the moutains earlier that day. This was the longest ride to one of the bigger towns.

Then another local, a hunter I think, gave me a lift to another town not too far from Almaty. Man, he was driving so fast. Perhaps like everybody in Kazakhstan. And finally two young guys drove me to Almaty and conveniently dropped me off at an underground station. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Was it just beginner’s luck?

Kolsai Lake 1
Beautiful butterflies on the path
Kolsai Lake 1
Kolsai Lake 1
House near the lake

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