Day 125: Big Almaty Lake
Bolshoe Almatinskoe Lake Travel Blog› entry 170 of 260 › view all entries
Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: Aselya, Bek (Kazakhstan), Nicolas (France)
Oof, that is the second Sunday in a row that I wake up with a hangover. I have forgotten what Sunday hangovers are like... The idea was to do some hiking at the Bolshoe Almatinskoe, or Big Almaty lake. However, something must have gone wrong in the planning department, because in the end it was just me, Aselya and her dog Mathilde who made the trip to the lake. Well, dog, sausage with legs is a better description, to be honest.
The Bolshoe Almatinskoe lake lies just outside Almaty, inside the Ile-Alatau national park. The 1.6 kilometre long lake is an artificial lake, created in Soviet times to power a single (!!) turbine which generates just enough watts to power a couple of street lights.
The lake lies beautifully at an altitude of 2500 metres, surrounded by several snow-capped peaks. The lake is fed by glacial melt water, giving it a milky colour. We crossed the dam to walk to the lake, but were stopped by a guard. Apparently it is not allowed to walk down to the lake, because, well, no idea because of what. Probably security reasons since it is a hydro-electrical dam. Instead we could walk around the lake via steep, barely visible paths.
We descended down to the water front on the other side of the lake, assuming that the guard had chased us off because the dam had been restricted area, but within minutes another guard appeared telling us to leave.
It didn't make any sense. There are hundreds of people here, which I assume is the same every weekend.
In the evening I went out for dinner with Nicolas.
Aselya had hired a private room where she and Bek and a few more friends were belting out Russian crooners.
I looked what kind of English language music the karaoke machine had to offer and was surprised at the sheer variety to choose from, including quite a few of my favourite songs.
I never really been to a proper karaoke place before. I once sang a few drunken tunes in a bar in Bolivia, but in being a private room, surrounded by just friends (none of whom could sing either) significantly lowered the threshold. It didn't take many drinks for me to join in with the fun, starting with a half-decent (or at least it felt half-decent) performance of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run. God I love that song. As the night progressed I had loads of fun singing tons of tunes by Queen, Radiohead, Muse (golly those songs are hard), Dream Theater and lots more.
We continued until 4 AM - I didn't have much of a voice left by then.