Through the Gulkam gorges, Uzbekistan

in TravelFeed6 months ago

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Hello!
After more than a month's break, I am again returning to the publication of my
photo reports about my trips to beautiful  Uzbekistan. As you probably remember from my last report a new quarantine, which is popularly nicknamed "Quarantine 2.0".
Although, to be honest, the first quarantine was not canceled either. The
government just softened the conditions first and then tightened them again.
Frankly speaking, the second quarantine was stupid and unnecessary and it did
much more harm to people and the economy than it did. We will disentangle its
consequences for a long time.

Despite the
restrictions, some Tashkent residents managed to use loopholes and get out into
the mountains. Unfortunately, I could not take advantage of these loopholes.
Literally a couple of days after returning from the hike along the Ispay-say Gorge I felt a little unwell and the temperature rose. Considering that many of my
relatives fell ill with coronavirus of varying severity, I decided that I also
caught this infection and as a law-abiding citizen, isolated myself in the
apartment for almost a whole month. I considered it pointless to hand over the
PCR-analysis, since there is a very high proportion of erroneous results, it
costs a lot of money, you have to go to the laboratory and stand in line there
in the heat. Better then I'll take it for antibodies and find out why I still
got sick. Of the classic symptoms of coronavirus, there were only a temperature
of 37.3-37.5 degrees for almost three weeks and a slight weakness, and  the blood-pressure was jumping.

And now,
for almost a whole month, I sat within four walls, minimizing physical activity
but at the same time eating very well and tasty. As a result, I then barely
squeezed into my jeans. Finally, on August 15, the long-awaited softening of
quarantine was announced and people rushed out of the city. Anywhere, if only
get out of the hateful four walls. I went with "Mysterious
Uzbekistan"
to the mountains.

This time was
planned a small and easy 10-kilometer trek along the Gulkam gorge. I realized
that my physical condition had suffered significantly over this month - jeans
popping at the seams and a non-fastening belt were clear proof of this. :) But
I didn't expect to be so relaxed. It's a trifling track, in general, I got
through somehow. And then for two more days my muscles ached and I somehow
tossed and turned in bed. Well, I still have a half of August and September - I
will restore my form, and there the winter hikes will already begin.

So, early
Saturday morning we drove towards Chimgan. An hour and a half later we arrived
at the foot of the Small Chimgan and began our journey.

At first I
walked quite briskly, but after 10 minutes I began to lag behind. And when we
climbed some 200-250 meters, it was completely exhausted. It's a shame, because
just a month ago I climbed the nearby Greater Chimgan and everything was great
but now I began to fizzle out at the very beginning of the track. Then, however
it is opened a “second-breath”. Well, we must pay tribute to the organizers -
they understood that it would be difficult for tourists at first to walk, so
they made a short route with a lot of stops and rests.

We climbed
the Pesochniy pass (Sand pass) and began our descent into the Gulkam-say gorge.
Gulkam-say is a mountain river, into which the surrounding streams flow, fed by
the snows of the Chimgan mountains. In spring it can be dangerous here, as
mudflows descend. About ten years ago, a group died here - they were squeezed
in gorges and boldly by the stream of water and mudflow. But in August there is
little water and it’s possible to walk through the gorges without much fear.

The element
of extremeness is still present – it is impossible to descend without ropes through
huge boulders and waterfalls, and even with backpacks. But this is even more
interesting.

On the way
I came across such a pretty little blue flower. I do not know what kind of
plant it is. It is interesting that I saw him only here - near the Pesochniy
Pass. Further, such flowers did not come across. As if a new three-dimensional
image of the next coronavirus (God save us!).

Before
descending into the gorges, we settled down for a small halt near the stream. Part
of the group went down a little to swim and another part remained to sit in the
shade. But then I got tired of sitting, and the tourists from other groups
scurrying back and forth did not allow us to enjoy solitude. In general, the
Gulkam gorges are quite a picturesque and popular place among tourists, so
there are always a lot of them here. And if consider that the quarantine was
softened ... In general, that day there was just a walkway. As we walked along
the route, I counted five or six groups.

The place
is so popular that someone has built a small oven that anyone who stops here
can use.

So, we
approached the site where we had to go down the rope. The guide asked me to go
down first and secure the others below.

He
explained how to descend correctly and I crawled down. Not only did the
handles-legs become unaccustomed from the loads and trembled, but also the
boots began to slide over the stones, polished by wind and water. But I managed
this! I somehow got down and the rest of the group watched me anxiously. When I
shouted from below that everything was fine, the rest of the participants
exhaled - since the rope withstood such a large-sized guy like me, it will
withstand them.

We went
down to a small waterfall and while the guide and I were collecting and
lowering our backpacks, part of the group decided to splash in the water.

We
continued our descent, throwing the rope from one stone to another, like real
climbers. I had to hide the camera in my backpack, so I couldn't take pictures
of our descents, but I found on the Internet and borrowed a couple of photos
from this gorge, taken by other tourists. See in the photo below the guy in the
red helmet hanging from the ropes? So we were just going down this stone, the
water was much less and I hoped that I could pass the route without getting my
feet wet. But it was not so - almost going downstairs, my foot slipped off the
stone and I plopped into this beautiful bath with a crash and splashes. After
such a fiasco, of course, there was no point in further jumping from stone to
stone, and therefore I went further directly on the water.

Photo
taken from centralasia-adventures.com

_[Source](https://www.facebook.com/mysteriouzb/photos/a.1692374357577544/1692374780910835/?type=3
_

Soon we
left the gorges and stopped for a short rest - to relax, have a snack and dry
off.

After a
little rest, we went on. Since my feet were already wet, I walked right on the
water. It was not very hot and the water was pleasantly cold on my feet.

Soon the
rocks parted and we came out into a small valley. On the way were tourists,
some of whom were already a little tipsy and all congratulated each other on
the end of the quarantine. As one of our local bloggers aptly noted, the people
were waiting for the end of the quarantine more than their birthday or New
Year.

Downstairs,
local businessmen set up trestle beds and fried barbecues for the yearned
residents of Tashkent. We found our cars, changed into dry clothes and drove
back to the city.

I hope
there will be no third quarantine. Because there are a couple of weeks left
until the end of summer and I have a lot to do. According to the rumors soon
will be re-opened a railway connection between the regions, which means that I
can have time to grab warm days and visit again the mysterious and beautiful regions
of Uzbekistan.


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