Our hostel helped us to arrange a private tour to the Big Almaty Lake. On our way, we realised that our tour guides are actually the owner of another hostel, Loco, the hostel that we planned to book but due to limited availability of free rooms we didn’t. They are all super cool people, Kazakh and Russian.
The security guards stopped us and told us to come back after 1pm because the way to the Almaty Lake is blocked due to military rehearsal. There were a few hours to go before reaching 1pm, so we went to an animal conservative center nearby to check out the vultures and eagles.
They suggested us to go for a hike near the river since we had time. At first, I thought there will be some paved trails, turns out there wasn’t even any guided route or directions! That was my first time to do stream hiking. We did it! And eventually reached a hot spring after an hour. This place was a hidden gem, I seriously thought I was in a paradise. My colleague and the tour guides went crazy about the hot spring. They just went naked and jumped into the freezing water. Obviously, I didn’t join them… But it was fun to watch. Seriously, who will get the chance of looking your boss naked body lol
They were warning us to be careful of ticks when we were walking down to the Big Almaty Lake. and yeah, why should we be surprised? One of them got bitten on the back by a tick right after he warned us. We needed to use a nail clipping to “unscrew” it. Thank god that he felt ok afterwards.