Similar to past years, my birthday request was a camping trip. My only requirement was a different destination to explore. So fitting with our new location we’re headed north this weekend, not too far from the Russian border, to Borovoe. But I’m saving this for next week.
I thought this was a good opportunity to share a little bit about our favorite camping spot so far: Kolsai Lakes. It is also the place where we got engaged. It’s our understanding that Borovoe rivals Kolsai Lakes so I am excited to go see for myself.
Kolsai Lakes is a mere six miles from the Kyrgyzstan border and about 200 miles from Almaty, although the ride takes nearly five hours given the poor road quality. To call it a bumpy ride is an understatement, but it’s worth it. Kolsai is a collection of three exceptionally clear lakes surrounded by woody slopes and snowcapped mountains in the Tian Shan range. It’s stunning! It’s an ideal location for hiking and horseback riding and we certainly take full advantage of both. Wildlife is bountiful and we also spend time looking for golden eagles, elk, ibex and deer. Similar to Alaska, the eagles are easy to spot. We really love it here!
A quick story: Travis tells me that my birthday camping dinner is going to be fresh trout, which gets me excited! Our plan was to catch the fish and grill them up whole on an open fire. I packed fresh herbs, garlic and lemon for the fish. As a side dish, I took a can of black beans and on our way out to Kolsai Lakes we stopped by to see our Uzbek friends to get some fresh bread. We camped at the first lake and apparently what used to be teaming with delicious rainbow trout (according to Travis) was no longer the case. Travis and Grant, who was visiting, fished for nearly three hours and had no luck – not even a bite! It was a good thing I packed the beans. Our dinner was a can of beans and a few nibbles of bread that we had leftover. There’s no question about it. I’m packing a backup plan for this trip.