There was actually a reason why we’ve chosen to stay in Shonzhy. Right next to it is the largest canyon in Kazakhstan. Also called the Kazakh grand canyon. So we obviously wanted to see it. Our plan was to get some lunch snacks, get a taxi to the outskirts of it and then hike around it and get drunk. But things turned out differently. We hired a cab that didn’t bring us to the outskirts but directly to the canyon that is around 40km away. There we had to pay money to get in and the taxi driver was waiting for us till we were finished to walk around and do our thing. Absolute fail of communication but ok. At least I brought a bottle of bear vodka with me.
Ayu Tayejnaya Vodka. It seems that the rule “put a bear on the bottle and it will sell itself” even applies in Kazakhstan, the green looking bottle with the brown bear was just too cool not to buy it. The vodka was obviously clear, 40% and had an intense alcohol aroma. I drank straight out of the bottle due to the lack of shotglasses in the canyon. Unfortunately there was (as typical in former soviet countries) a dispenser on the bottle. So I could only manage to drink little by little. Which wasn’t good since the vodka was quite bad. It had a strong alcohol taste at the beginning with a sweet finish. Just too harsh of a vodka to be good.