Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trip to Borovoe

Once I got to know that my #ibmcsc assignment was to Kazakhstan, the first thing I did was to look up on the map where it was and the second thing I did was to look for places to visit in and around Astana. One of the place that I was told to visit was Borovoe by the local clients here. They in fact call it as little or Kazakhstani Switzerland.

This Borovoe is in the north of Kazakhstan and is about 250 KM from Astana and about 3 hours drive. There many lakes in this place - Lake Shychie, Borovoye, Chebachie and Koturkul to mention a few. Not only the lakes, there are few mountains also surrounding this place. It was more crowded when we visited since it was summer. I wonder how this would be in the winter. I guess it would be pretty snowed up as the temperature here goes down to -45C during the winter.

Having told the background on what is a Borovoe, we managed to get a local English speaking guide and booked a bus and planned to start our journey at 7:30 on Saturday. As it was planned people started turning up from 7:30 and it was just before 8 that we started from the hotel. All of us were excited as it was our first trip away from Astana. Everyone had brought some snacks that can be enjoyed during the travel. Here comes the thriller part, after traveling for about 45 minutes, we had a checkpoint where the police officers were checking papers of the driver. When they saw that it was tourist gang, they wanted to check the passports. Unfortunately except for a few, others carried passport and Visa copies and few like me didn't carry anything at all. Don't blame me guys. We were going to place with lake and all that. I didn't want to lose my passport. So, the police cross checked Chester's passport and Visa alone. He also warned others to carry the passports along with us all the time. Now, we had to turn back to the hotel to get our passport.

We got back to the hotel, took our passports and started back to Borovoe again at 10 AM. As expected none was checked for passport after that. :-D We reached Borovoe about 10 to 1. The plan was to have lunch first in a super sight seeing restaurant and then jump into the lakes. As expected, we didn't manage to get good seats and ended up in the third storey. It was pretty hot there and they took forever to bring the business meals(it was supposed to be got as soon as ordered for) After spending about 2 to 3 hours for lunch, we hit the 'Beach'. Chennai guys, nope. Don't think it was as big as our Marina or Elloit's beach. This is a lake beach and it was small and people could swim here also sun bathe. Few of them went for a walk along the rocks and along the beach, few hit the waters and I hit the peddle boat along with Srinath.

It was fun to ride in the boat after a long time. :-) After sometime, we went to another lake and I sat on a rock with my legs soaked in the water. Liza, Divya, Brad, Gustavo, Almas (one of the client) and our local guide hit the water and began to swim, Belinda and Tanner were sitting on the shores and enjoyed the sight of the Borovoe. Karla, SiewYin and Chester was on the other side of the lake watching a beautiful wedding. :-)

We all started back at 7 and reached the hotel at 10PM. The return journey was less fun as most of us went to sleep as soon as we started from Borovoe. Overall, this trip was a bit of fun and tiring as well.

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