Cool breezes from the mountains
Exploitation of its rich natural resources has spurred the Kazakhstan economy, and from 2007 the government put into effect a five-year program to develop tourism. Among the first results of this program are the resorts now nearing completion on the shores of Lake Kapchagay and the Caspian Sea.
We put our boat and personal watercraft in the water at the Kapchagay Marine Club. More than a marina proper, you could call this a lakeside village of resort cottages and second homes with a restaurant that looks out over the lake, a swimming pool and beach and a simple facility for launching and mooring boats.
Leaving the Kapchagay Marine Club we round a point and come into another bay area filled with the excited voices of families and groups of young people are enjoying PWC riding and banana boating. They are able to rent the boats and PWCs for a day at the resort hotel back in the bay. The scenes you see here are not much different from those of people enjoying the waterside anywhere in the world, with plastic sheets spread on the beach where children play in the water and parents barbequing lunches of shashlik, a famous dish of Central Asia.
On weekends and holidays many people come here to the lake from Almaty. The area that was once an oasis for the caravan traders and nomadic herdsmen of the region is now a vacation spot where people enjoy sailing, boating and PWC riding. The times may be different but the joyful repose people find by the waterside is the same.