Karakol Beach and the Karasaev-Przevalskiy Memorial Complex

On Sunday I went to Karakol beach, not La Karakola Beach in Venezuela, but the local beach of the town of Karakol 🤓

Karakol is not situated right on the beach of the Issyk-Kul lake like Cholpon-Ata and Bosteri, the Issyk-Kul lake is actually about some 25 miles away from here. But there is a bay not far from the town, it plays a role of a yacht port, a beach and even a vacation resort for many local people.

Sort of like Norfolk – Va beach area but a lot smaller and not as nice 😀

It is about 5 miles away from downtown Karakol and that’s where I decided to go.

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There is a cheap public minibus #116 operating from downtown bazaar to the beach, but I decided to walk it there as a true tourist 🙂

I did not take a watermelon with me this time, just walked easy without a backpack.

There were beautiful views of the mountains along the road, the weather was awesome – nice and sunny, I was greeted by the local horses, cows, sheep and other animals on my way.

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When I almost reached the beach, I saw that Karasaev-Przevalskiy memorial complex that I read about on the internet. It is one of the Karakol most famous historical attractions.

It was cheap – just about 1 US $ and I sure went in.

I attended both museums of Karasaev and Przevalskiy. I learned a lot about both men, about their lives before they became famous.

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Przevalskiy museum

The fact that Karakol was re-named to Przevalsk at some point of history, is perhaps not news for anyone. The fact that Pzevalskiy himself was a famous Russian adventurer, a Russian Geographical Society member and an honorable member of the Russian Science Academy is perhaps not news too. But what I liked to learn about him is where exactly he was born, about his personal life and about his expeditions through Asia in more details.

Apparently he did a number of expeditions around here and even achieved Lhasa one day. Interesting though that the monks wouldn’t let him and his expedition people to enter the capital of Tibet and he had to turn around.

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A map of Przevalskiy’s expeditions
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Lhasa on the map of Przevalsskiy’s expeditions
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A scheme of Lhasa drawn by Przevalskiy

He was a great discoverer indeed! It seems like he would not hesitate to discover anything that was brought to his attention on his way – the wild animals that the local people lived side by side for hundreds of years, the herbs that the local people have been collecting and using in their everyday life for hundreds of years, the mountain picks and pathways that the locals traveled through for hundreds of years. A great discoverer indeed – he discovered so many «new» things, perhaps a horse is the last thing he hasn’t discovered yet… oh did he…? wait a minute… 🤔 😀

And yet, at that time, most of this information seemed to be new for the western scientists and that’s what made him famous. He even got one of the highest mountain picks not far from Karakol named in his honor – the Przevalskiy peak.

He died unexpectedly from  a typhoid fever and before dying he asked to bury him here, on the high shore of Issuk-Kul lake not far from Karakol.

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Przevalskiy’s graveyard

Karasaev, in its turn, was a great Kyrgyz philologist famous for writing the very first Kyrgyz-Russian dictionary. He attended college in Tashkent and later in Saint-Petersburg. This was the time of Russian revolution and all his childhood and school friends who stayed at home were killed while he was in Russia. Such a sad story of horrible things that common folks have deal with during a civil war 😦 

Karasaev was also buried here, in this park on the high shore of Issyk-Kul lake.

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Husein Karasaev’s grave yard

On my way out of the museum I talked to a lady who was selling tickets to enter the museum. She turned out to be a very kind person, she told me a couple of good stories about Karasaev and she also told me about other historical and natural tourist attractions to see here around Karakul area. She was just another example of how kind and generous Kyrgyz people are.

I then finally walked to the beach and enjoyed the views. The weather was amazing, it was warm and sunny I even thought about swimming in the lake, but did not  😉 

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I walked a little more and took a public transportation minibus to get back to town.

It drove me to the Karakol downtown bazaar in just about 15 minutes and I walked home from there.

A nice trip this past Sunday 😉

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