Having spent enough time in downtown to feel like I'd be wasting time by exploring further there, today I ventured back into the hills. Without too much information to go on, I hopped onto bus 5 and held on till the last stop. The route went as though it was going toward Medeu until hanging a right onto a curvy one lane road; from this point it was a couple of minutes before rising out of the hotels and restaurants up into a snowy suburban community of poor Kazak hill dwellers.
At the last stop I hopped off and continued by foot up a snow covered dirt road. There were houses and shacks every so often, and more dogs wandering around here than humans. After getting wound up on a couple odds and ends I eventually snaked my way up and around to the crest of a hill. From the top of the path here you can see the smog line above Almaty which has almost as much contrast as the ocean meeting the horizon, and reaching out from beneath it the foothills dotted with small tin roofed structures leading up onto the mountain.
|Nice coat of paint on an abandoned truck|
|Ocean of smog|
|Looking down over the area I walked up through|
After walking around for a bit enjoying the few breaths of fresh air I might be able to get during my day, I started my way back down. I was about half way when I heard the echo of what sounded like the bus, knowing that this only comes once an hour I made an effort to gain some serious speed by jogging a bit until my momentum kept me sliding on snow in between jumps. Before I could decelerate myself an old lady appeared over the next lump in the path and I had to crash land in order to prevent knocking her over. Luckily after being yelled at in Kazak, I got up and was able to make it to the bus just before it took off.