Monday, 21 February 2011

Altai Mountains, Chuya Road and surroundings. Part 3

After some time of silence I'll continue my story, the second part of which can be found here: Hope I'll be able to finish it by August when, hopefully our next Altai travel  is going to happen.

Having left Kur-Kechu camping we went on our travel along the Chuya Road, in the direction of the border with Mongolia.
The day was wonderful! The sun was shining in the clear sky. It was a bit cold in the morning, but it's typical for mountains.
In a small village called Inya we bought a big sack of potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and onions for as cheap as a bottle of vodka. Unfortunately the locals are addicted to drinking, and all travelers should be aware of that.

And in about 10 km from the village we arrived to the confluence of the rivers Katun and Chuya (which has given its name to the road).
An amazing place! Sacred for the locals and famous among the visitors.

 First we wanted to make a stop on the opposite river side seen in the picture, there was a camping, but we would have to go back to the village and find a bridge, it seemed a long way and the children were hungry, so in just 3 km we stopped for lunch in a very good cafe called Chuy-Oozy. The cafe is cheap, but the food is of really high quality. A nice atmosphere, good music and a dream-like landscape around in make the place a favourite stop among all people traveling along. You won't pass it by without noticing. Beside the cafe there is a small national museum, and in about 20 metres from it there's a  group of rocks with ancient painting (dated about 2000 BC).
 Altai is full of ancient monuments and painting almost everywhere. You just have to look around and you'll see numerous ancient steles, caves, rock paintings, burial mounds. We saw one near Kur-Kechu and explored it a little. After Chuy -Oozy there are a lot of them on both side of the road, and those interested make stops near all of them, and special tours are offered by local travel agencies and the locals themselves. We stopped to see just a couple of them, it was all the same for the kids and a little hard for them to climb the rocks.

 Soon after we arrived to a village called White Bom (Bom is an Altai word meaning a rock). It was fascinating! A huge rock hanging over the road, the river Chuya beneath it. It looked so welcoming that we decided to make a night stop there, though it was only about 2 pm.
The camping was very cheap, 150 rubles per camping place, 50 rubles for a car, 50 rubles for a bundle of wood. We didn't make our minds to make our own bundle in the forest area, and here there was not much forest, mostly steppes.
My husband with the boys hired horses to make a small ride, but I'm afraid of horses somehow and I was just sitting beside the river and dreaming. It was really serene and relaxing. No extra sounds like music, just  the purl of the river, singing of the birds.
White Bom (Rock)

Chuya River

On a horseride

.After the ride we had some walking and climbing. And we liked the place even more. We found a small river flowing into the Chuya, and one more camping beside it. It looked even more peaceful and it was definitely warmer there as it was surrounded by rocks and lied far from Chuya. We made this camping our goal for the next year.

   But soon evening came and we realized the night was going to be difficult because of cold. White Bom lies about 1000 m over the sea level and the camping is near the river, so it was almost freezing in the night. Fortunately our sleeping bags are warm enough and neither we nor the kids were cold. But still we were awake at 6 am because it was really uncomfortable, and started to make a fire. Morning coffee near the mountain river in full silence has a magic taste!
After the breakfast we made some walking the same direction, but a little higher to get warmed.
The camping by the river
And after that we hit the road again. The day was going to be wonderful and we decided to reach the Northern-Chuya mountain range. Not to climb it, of course, but just to see it.
To be continued... 


  1. After visiting many countries i realized that Pakistan mountains are best for climbing and i suggest you to take flights for pakistan to explore new spots and precious mountain peaks.

  2. Dear Amy Alex,
    Thank you for your comment. I've never thought about going to Pakistan, and it is a really good idea!