In chase of greatness, we very often overlook far more interesting things. Main routes endless crowds use seeking non-stop for cherished goals often pass the real discoveries for which they do not have enough time and curiosity.Bear gorge is one of them.
I write about it with confidence, because this is example of me as well. Many times, passing by this place on the way to Big Almaty Lake, I thought that I ought to stop by here. Especially because I knew about the Bear gorge waterfalls for a long time. But... every time I passed by with the unabatedperseverance, and always by and by. And in vain!
Creek Ayu- sai, imperceptible left tributary of Big Almatinka, could become an ideal field for eco-tourism with its proximity to the city, compactness and picturesque. It would be if it was not for our traditional attitude to the nature. Today the gorge’s anthropogenic background is indistinguishable from others that are close to the road. It is easy accessible, too easy.
Meanwhile, the nature of this picturesque outcast makes it a benchmark of Tien Shanmidlands. I do not know about bears, have not seen them, butsquirrels,famous "blue birds", butterflies and other little animals are still here. The abundance of the raspberry-caneson the slopes brings somehow thoughts of bears. But it is rather a logical connection (such as: where the village is–there is a lot of fresh milk, where fresh milk is -there are many vigorous milkmaids, where many milkmaids are–there are many brave mechanics, where many mechanics are – there are many broken equipment, etc.).
The middle part of the Ayu- sai is the shady mountain forests, interspersed with sunnygrassy glades, the upper part is a narrow canyon with steep walls. Sun comes here only for a few hours per day that is whyhereis always dark and damp.
But the most important natural bait of Bear gorge is the small picturesque waterfall;or rather, several small waterfalls. This place is easy to visit, even if you have just a couple of hours.
Description of the route:
At the "ring" in Orbit take bus number 28, or some dashing taxi. I suggest using local taxis: it is cheap, fast and not as sweaty as in municipal transport. Then we get to the final stop, which is located exactly on the spot where the road splits: one leads to the gorge Prokhodnoe (Alma-Arasan) and another to Big Almaty Lake.
We choose road to the Big Almaty Lake (east one, straight along asphalt) and walk about 30 minutes, until we reach the bridge over the left tributary (on the course of movement - right) and the sculptural group of bears. This is the creek Ayu- sai. After the bridge immediately turnto the country road along the creek. The ruins will confirm accuracy of our way. Old- timers associate two structures that were built from the rough stones with the Japanese prisoners of the war, who worked on the construction of the local Cascade HPP. I have to confess, I have not seen these old-timers myself.
From the upper "Japanese House" we walk another three hundred meters and after the turn of the gorge we see the first waterfall, five meters inheight.
After enjoying game of the water, we follow the scree on the right (on a course of movement)that brings us to the path and then we immediately see another waterfall, slightly smaller.
The path climbs slowly up on the right slope of the gorge (on a course of movement- left). The only thing that strongly keepsthe traveler back is theabundance of the raspberry-caneswhen raspberries are already ripened. The most delicious raspberries grow not in the forest, butamong the sun warmed stones on the scree. Wild raspberries are solid vitamins, not like cultural. But while you are tucking your body with vitamins in, try to remember about bears, or rather, about the consequence of overeating berries, which is called "Bear's disease".
Gradually path more and more presses itself to the creek, and soon itgets over to the other side. Here gorge resembles a canyon at the bottom of which flows frothy Ayu- sai. Pay attention to the cave on the left. Unclear travel tales brought to us poor information about its former inhabitants. One thing is clear:here lived someone ferocious, hairy and stinky. As all such subjects, he was especially fond of young virgins. Anyway, if your company has any - do not let them go alone to the cave.
The last part of the journey follows the slope along the right bank of the river. Here you should be very careful and do not relax, especially if you have small children with.
And then, after the next turn of the canyon,you see the most beautiful of Ayu -Say waterfall. This is the final destination of our little trip.
The way from the bus stop to the top of the waterfall will take 2-3 hours. In the altitude it is about 500 meters. You can continue to route up to the gorge, but better do not do it. And do not show off at the upper waterfall, it has already resulted in fatal outcomes.