One of the best perks of living in Karakol is being close to beautiful lake Issyk Kul . Our team has visited the beach a few times driving between Karakol and Bishkek, but these beach stops were 1-2 hours away from Karakol. Last Saturday, however, we were shown a public beach that is literally 20 minutes from our apartments! We packed up the sand toys, snacks, sunscreen, and camera and we were off. We arrived at about 11 am and were very pleased by what we saw. The beach was just starting to come alive with an even mix of Russian and Kyrgyz visitors (I was warned by one older Russian lady to cover my shoulders from the sun, although she herself was not covered) and there were plenty of prime spots to put up our huge tent. The beach was sandy and spacious. The water was rather chilly but we braved it and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Kirsten and Ryan happily spent hours playing in the wet sand and shallow water. We bought some potato filled bread, popcorn and soft drinks for lunch from vendors set up nearby. When we started leaving after 2 pm the beach was really getting busy and we could smell the grills starting up. Kirsten and I were not ready to go but nap time was calling. Our enjoyable time at the beach was a good reminder of how important it is to get away and relax and forget about the moments of culture shock and the common internet, electricity, and water outages. We will definitely go back.