Cheryn Canyon Trip

It’s 11 pm Saturday night after an exhilarating day of hiking in what was billed as the Grand Canyon of Kazakhstan. Cheryn Canyon is a 3 hour bus trip from Almaty and though in my estimation not holding the majesty of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, it is a majestic geological site.

Rock formations are reminiscent of Castle Rock State Park in Colorado. We have found a local tour company where we can get these really cool trips for 1500 Tenge per person per day – this is about $12.00 per person/day and they are action packed day trips or two day affairs that get you 100-200 kilometers out of Almaty.

Nadia is our networker in the family. While Sophie and I try and unwind from the stresses of the week, Nadia is all over the place making friends with either kindly old grandma-types or younger females who may someday be thinking of having a charming, chatty little girl like Ms. Nadia.

Nadia’s first target of opportunity on this trip was a woman named Tanya from Rostov-on-Don. Her job as a Microsoft trainer has brought her to Almaty for two weeks. She was very solicitous of Nadia. We ended up having our lunch with her next to a rushing river. Later in the day, Nadia found two grannies that were gathering herbs to take home. She is always interested in what others are doing and easily wins people over.

Exclusive good news for Jim Colt……..Kazakhstan has eradicated the prairie dog. Prior to our departing the bus for our canyon hike, the tour guide reminded us of natural calamities we might encounter like scorpions and snakes with no possibility of medical evacuation or care until we got back to Almaty (meaning we would probably die). He then proudly indicated that a number of years ago the fear of the plague got the best of the old Soviet regime and they “decreed” the destruction of Jim Colt’s favorite Boulder Road kill. The Kazakhs sprayed thousands of square miles with a strong unknown agent and killed them all off – no plague with the wonderful side benefit of eliminating holes for horses to trip in; they didn’t have to file an environmental impact statement to do this deed of “Dogocide”. This was a plan that came together and was a win-win for everyone. May the little pests RIP.


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