Through the gorges of Donkey-bridge Creek, Uzbekistan

in TravelFeedlast year

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Hello! As it was announced in my previous post, today I would like to tell about my trekking through the gorges and waterfalls of a very picturesque river with interesting and intriguing name Ishak-kuprik-say. This name can be translated in English as "Donkey-bridge Creek", because "ishak" is translated as "donkey", "kuprik" is a "bridge", and "say" is a "mountain creek or mountain river". Although in this case this river was rather shallow, it is therefore more appropriate, in my opinion, to use the word stream or creek.

I heard a couple of versions about the origin of this toponym. According to one legend, the road through this say led from the depths of the Shash-Ilak oasis to the upper reaches of the Parak river (Chirchik river) and the bridge passing through this creek was so narrow that it housed only one wagon harnessed by a donkey. According to another version, shepherd’s paths ran along this river which donkeys were droven for resale in the Tashkent oasis. In general, often to decipher the Uzbek (and not only Uzbek) place names - this is a terrible job - there are so many things mixed up that it’s hard to figure out why a place has got its name.

I saw the announcement of the trip on Facebook and immediately contacted the organizers. Unfortunately, almost until the very last moment it was not clear whether the trip would take place, as the group stubbornly did not want to recruit. People were scared away by the prospect of spending half a trip knee-deep in water. These prospects didn’t frighten me, since I had knee-deep experience in water (last year I went to Kashka-Su waterfall and I liked that trip.

Fortunately, the group finally gathered and we went along the already familiar roads towards the Greater Chimgan.

An hour and a half after the departure, we arrived at the starting point of our trip. Far in the background is seen Greater Chimgan. I still have a score of 1-1 with him. Once I did not reach the top, but after a month the peak I, nevertheless, obeyed. To fix the result I need to climb there at least one more time. I plan to do it at the beginning of July.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We climbed a small hill and from there began the descent to the headwaters of Ishak-kuprik-say. Alas, the say turned out to be low-water. The reason for this is heavy rains that washed away the snow from the tops of the mountains (namely, these snows feed this and many other says), as well as abnormally hot weather in Uzbekistan. According to weather forecasters, this summer will be 5-8 degrees hotter than average annual values. Usually in summer the temperature is over 40 degrees Celcius. On the other hand, what is the alternative? Therefore, I installed additional air conditioners at home, made an advance payment to the local power supplier and I can only hope that our power plants will cope with such a load.

The water in the say was clayey but cold. Almost halfway I was able to jump over the rocks but then I had to soak my feet. And when we entered the gorge, we generally got wet from head to toe. I had to go down the stones on the ropes, through the waterfalls and jump into the natural baths. Therefore, I’m forced to borrow some of the photos from the photo report of "Mysterious Uzbekistan" because I hid the camera and the phone away in a backpack, so as not to dunk them.

We walked along the stream ...

... moving through felled trees. Can you imagine how strong the stream was in the spring, that these rather large trees turned upside down?

And after about an hour or a little more we reached the gorge. While walking to this gorge, it was a little boring - to walk along a muddy rivulet, to get through the grass ... Where is the danger disturbing blood? Why do guides haul a rope and why do they don’t use of it? :)

But here we went into the gorge and everything became clear.

I was a little behind the main group, because I wanted to take photos of the gorge without people. I waited when they were turned around the corner and began to take the photos. At this time, enthusiastic cries came from around the corner and I hurried up after the rest of the group. While I was taking pictures, the guides managed to get the rope and unwind it. The male part of our group rushed with great pleasure to test their climbing skills.

The stone seemed somehow not very high. Not quite what excites the blood. :)

But don’t worry, further down the gorge we many times descended the ropes and the stones there were much more impressive.




We went down to a small but pretty waterfall and decided to have a lunch.

Having a snack and having a little rest, we went further. Ahead of us were even more abrupt descents.

Finally, we went out of the gorge into a small valley and say scattered along it in several small streams.

We went up to the road and finally dressed in dry clothes.

In general, I liked the trip but the clay water a little disappointed. I would like to splash in cold and clean water, for example as it was on Kashka-Su. This Sunday I will have such an opportunity - I signed up for another trip to the waterfall under the intriguing name of Kulosya. There is also necessary to step knee-deep in water and climb ropes. I look forward to it.

In general, "Mysterious Uzbekistan" shared with me plans for July and they are the grandest! In the first half of July, I planned a third ascent to the Greater Chimgan, a walk along the Ispay Gorge and a three-day hike to the incredibly beautiful glacial lakes located at an altitude of about 3,500 meters above sea level. Pah-pah, so as not to jinx it)))

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