Hike along the Ispay-say gorge, Uzbekistan
Hello, today I would like to tell you about my trip to the Ispay-say gorge. In July, the team of "Mysterious Uzbekistan" prepared a whole bunch of wonderful and interesting tours and I was just torn from the desire to go to all the locations, intuitively understanding that such happiness would not last long and we could be closed again to quarantine. As you know from the previous post, my intuition did not fail me.
Usually "Mysterious Uzbekistan" organizes one-day hikes on weekends and since I have already signed up for the Saturday ascent of Greater Chimgan, it was supposed that on Sunday I would be recovering. Smart people usually do this :). However, in the announcement of the tours I read that tourists: "it will be a pleasant and uncomplicated walk through the shady groves of Ispay-say, where those who wish can swim in natural baths and relax on the banks of a mountain river." Well, if there is a pleasant and uncomplicated walk through the "shady groves", then I will manage it. Just in case, I decided to check my assumptions with Sharof - the founder and leader of "Mysterious Uzbekistan". However, to my surprise, he advised me to refrain from this trekking. The main part of the tour will indeed pass through shady groves and there will be simple ascents and descents. However, for the most restless there is a bonus - while the main part of the group is resting, they can go to the waterfalls located at the top of the gorge and this blitz-hike can be difficult. He said: "I know that you will go to the end and after Greater Chimgan it will be hard for you, so you better rest. There will be more tours, then you will go."
Of course, I took it as a challenge and signed up immediately :). As it turned out, Sharof did not deceive me. The total length of the route turned out to be about 21 km and during the "bonus" part of the hike to the waterfalls we almost had to run, because there was little time and only an hour and a half was allotted for the five-kilometer section of the path. Yes, running ahead I will say - we did not have time to reach the waterfalls, but we ran along the picturesque gorge, so I think that it was not in vain that we strained.
So, at half past six in the morning we gathered at the agreed place and loaded into the cars. I must admit that I expected that after Greater Chimgan my legs would hurt terribly - but no! It turned out that, although a short but deep sleep, coffee with a piece of cake and a bottle of cola for breakfast had a revitalizing effect on my body and therefore at the collection point I was fresh and vigorous. From the point of view of adherents of proper nutrition, this is a terrible breakfast and Coca-Cola has a lot of disadvantages, but there are also undeniable advantages. Firstly, if there is no certainty about the quality and freshness of the food offered, then Coca-Cola will help to avoid possible unpleasant situations. By the way, my German friends taught me this. Secondly, cola helps with a hangover no worse than brine. And, thirdly, in case of large physical activities (for example, such as climbing a mountain), cola gives a sharp surge of energy and strength - a kind of "nitro" for the body. But don't think of it as a cola ad. It is not the most healthy drink for the body and in the city I try to avoid it. But in difficult trips it is irreplaceable for me :).
We drove along the very familiar road, towards the Charvak reservoir ...
... went around it.
And we got to the Pskem river. The road was familiar. If you go straight along it, you can get to the famous "Nephrite Lakes".
But today we had a different goal and, having turned to the right, we went down to the bridge connecting the village of Ispay with the "mainland".
We drove into the village, unloaded, went through a short instruction from the guides and hit the road. The road was really mostly in a shady grove and it was quite easy and pleasant to walk.
If I'm not mistaken, the tree in the photo below is a birch. Although I may be wrong, I'm not a botanist ...
The purpose of our trip was a place called "A heavenly place". As the guides told me, this is a shady meadow near the river, where you can lie down and swim.
After about four hours we reached the "heavenly place", but it turned out to be occupied by other tourists who pitched tents there. Well, we were forced to make room.
We settled under the trees and took out packages of food. Someone went swimming, someone stretched out on the ground and fell asleep. It was not hot, the water felt cool and a thought flashed through me - maybe it is better to forget about these waterfalls? Lie down and sleep for an hour or two? But no, I can sleep at home. Moreover, I was curious to see the waterfall. And not only I thought so, but also 6 more restless tourists.
But as I said at the beginning of the post, time was running out and we had to cover almost 5 km in an hour and a half. And if for the city to cover the distance of 5 km in an hour and a half is a trifle, then in the mountains the speed of movement slows down significantly. The normal speed of movement is usually 2.5-3 km per hour and the guide warned us that we will have to go very quickly and everyone needs to keep the pace, so it's worth considering - is it really necessary to go? We nodded our heads together. The guide sighed heavily, said: "Okay, let's go then," and we went, and we went quite briskly.
The trail climbed steeply and in some sections a quick step almost turned into a jogging. To get to the waterfall, we had to climb about 150 m along a very steep slope. When the guide told us this at the beginning of our trip, everyone did not take this information seriously. And so, when we, breathing heavily, got to the point of ascent to the waterfall, we realized that there was no energy or time left for this 150-meter ascent. And so we had to turn back. And I must say, I was not very upset about this, since the effect of the coffee with the cake and the cola had already ended and tired legs were making themselves felt :).
We went downstairs, the guides gathered a group and we set off on the way back. While we were walking, clouds came across the sky and even a little rain got covered.
The setting sun and rolling clouds made it possible to take quite picturesque photographs of the mountains.
We returned to the cars, loaded up and drove home.
Alas, as it turned out, this was my last trip in July. The next day, an official announcement arrived about the tightening of the quarantine regime. Travel to the mountains is prohibited and all planned trips to the most picturesque places have been canceled. In Tashkent, the famous "chilla" (the hottest time of summer) came into force, the temperature goes over 40 degrees Celsius and we have to wear these terrible masks. We can only hope that I will be able to catch the remaining piece of summer and still go to the mountains ...