- According to Pavlodar geographer Murabek Omarov, the pine forests appeared, when the ancient glacier, sliding from the northeast of the Altai Mountains, brought wood seeds and suitable sandy soil into the treeless steppe. A natural monument, without exaggeration, of a planetary stretching out in narrow and long (hundreds of kilometers) furrows in the steppe interfluve of the Ob and Irtysh rivers. Chaldai belt pine forest is a part of the state forest natural reserve "Ertis Ormany", created in 2003.
If it is summertime, you can take a break from the bustle of the city and car gases. The silence of the coniferous forest and its unthinkable aromas will make you forget about all your worries. If you are lucky, you can see a roe deer in the forest. If you do not see the beast itself, then there are a great many traces of its life around, as well as a hare, a fox or a corsak fox. There are also many birds here: horned larks, nuts, great spotted woodpeckers, and larks.
The Chaldai forest extends into two districts of the Pavlodar region: Shcherbakty and Akkuly. On the first of them, right in the forest, there is the mausoleum of Gabdul Uakhit Khazret. In the childhood, he studied with the best teachers of the Semipalatinsk region. For improvement his knowledge, in 1873 he began studying in the Mir-Arab madrasah in the city of Bukhara, and in 1888 returned to his native land. In his homeland, Gabdul Uahit, working as an imam and teacher in a mosque, preached Islam and taught children to read and write. After the death of the Khaziret, his grave became a place of pilgrimage. Especially often couples come who are desperate to have a child. Now, the mausoleum is an object of sacred significance, one of the holy places of the Pavlodar region.
Wander around Chaldai - don't rush to leave! You can see beautiful lizards that will not run away from you. You can even stroke them, but then by all means – let them go! You can come across whole fields of Necker moss. It is so soft that you can walk on it barefoot.
How to get there? Every day a Pavlodar-Shaldai bus departs from the Pavlodar bus station straight to the village of the same name in Shcherbakty district. From Shalday, you can drive with any private cab to the village of Sadyk Ashi. There is a hunter's house, where you can be treated to a gorgeous lunch with natural milk, including goat milk, kumis and national cuisine. You can ride horses, children can ride donkeys. Rooms are rented, it is good for the whole family here in winter and summer. Beauty in the natural wilderness!
From Pavlodar, you can also get to the vicinity of the village of Galkino (sometimes called Galkinsky Bor) as well as to the villages of Arbigen or Esilbay. In the direction of Galkino there is a rest house (with a bathhouse, barbecue, swimming pool, houses for rent and a dining room). You can come for at least one day or three days off.
Distances: Pavlodar – Chaldai - 100 km, Pavlodar – Sharbakty-Galkino - 85 + 30 = 115 km. According to the residents of Shcherbakty, the second route is preferable.
Photo by Nadezhda Maiba