Thirst for sea

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Modern Kazakhstan hardly can be called a sea power. But many great lakes,which have been impressing travelers with their huge sizes and power, are located on its territory.

I propose to make a little trip to one Kazakhstani Sea, where thereare no "air-capable" connections, no peaceful fishing barges, pleasure catamarans and even ... water. It, according to the estimations of geologists, left the sea about ten millions years ago.

How it all happened

Most likely, seas, whose deposits are not uncommon in the foothills on the south of the country, are the once vast inland water basins, such as the Caspian Sea. It looked like a sea, but in fact was the lake. Was here one single lake - ocean, including the existing ones Balkhash and Alakol, Ebi-nur, or everything is much more complicated? Science has not one opinion on this matter. One fact without doubtis that the mountains were lower, and the climate was more humid (it is interconnected, remove the barrier to warm air from the Indian Ocean and monsoonswould turn our steppe into the Bounty country), vast natural lake was splashing onthe place of current man-made Kapchagay.

After the disappearance of the water (perhaps it was a disaster, when water of the overflowed lake flood through Kapchagaiscour intoBalkhash) here and there can be found ground accumulation. It is noticeable lightclays with layered layers of gravel and pebbles. Former bottom lies on the earth's surface for millions years. That is why, it is completely excised by gullies, dissected by ravines, chewed over by winds and looks like a maze of deep gorges.

These gorges are mysterious, enticing and lifeless, like they bear some terrible curse. Nothing grows here, no one is found, except for stray visitors. Silence is absolute. If you come to the bottom of a dried up sea with an open mind you could see that itis fraught with a lot of options of world viewing and self-fulfillment.

Although here is no fossils (at least I have not seen anything, except the traces of primitive bottom ripples), cleavage of light clay is quite interesting. Essentially, it is the samelayers of ice in glaciers, or tree rings. Each layer has its own history,a mudflow disaster, heavy rain or simply an anomalous year. If you turn on your imagination, you can interestingly spend your time finding narratives of the past in these layers.

No wonder, many people visit these places, in order to meditate, get energy directly from the cosmos or just think aboutcaducity and the fugacious nature of life.

How to get to the bottom

Route A: 

Drive from Alma-Ata to Chilikon Ghulja track. After Chilik (the river) turn left, drive by Masakvillage and get to dilapidated village Nurly. Drive further along the road;at the place, where the asphalt turn left, go straight (on the country load, along the poles), to the Boguty mountains. Before reaching the mountains, turn left and after a few kilometers along the mountains, you will get to the White Clays. Here make yourself comfortable.

Route B: 

Start is the same. But after the bridge, turn right and drive along the asphalt. After Kokpekti Gorge, in Syugatinskaya valley at Y-intersection, choose right road, to Narynkol. Cross over Toraigyr, go down to Charyn. White Mountains is on the opposite bank after the bridge.

The whole trip meant for one day. If you fly at a gallop, you can manage to see both routes.

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