Two for one or a hike to the Tereklisay and Chukuraksu waterfalls, Uzbekistan
today I would like to tell you about my trip to two beautiful waterfalls, my
20-munute visit to Kyrgyzstan, how
walked in the tracks of bears and also about how I "cheated" on
"Mysterious Uzbekistan" :). But about everything in more detail.
hike along the Gulkam gorge I was very unhappy with my physical form and therefore I decided to climb Greater
Chimgan again in order to check if the powder is left in the flasks. Unfortunately,
this time the group did not put together and the organizers were forced to
cancel the ascent. An alternative was hiking to the Aksarsay waterfall or
walking along the Ispaysay gorge. I've already visited both locations and I
wanted something new. In search of a suitable tour, I began to check
"Telegram" and came across an interesting offer - to go to the
waterfalls of Akbulak and Chukuraksu. I was on Chukuraksu last year and I liked this a waterfall with the romantic name "Bride’s
Veil". Also I was intrigued by the new waterfall. Therefore, I contacted
the organizers and signed up for the trip. According to my experience, I found
that "Mysterious Uzbekistan" is still beyond competition - even if
their prices are more expensive but the locations are much more interesting,
the organization of trips is better and the guides are more professional.
Therefore, for the last three years I have only gone with them. But what to do
if this very weekend the “competitors” location turned out to be more
location where we were heading is at the confluence of the Chatkal and Akbulak
rivers, which, in turn, flow into the Charvak reservoir. The waterfall to which
we were going, although it is listed in the announcement as "Akbulak
waterfall" is actually located on the Tereklisay stream - one of the
Akbulak tributaries. And if I can decipher the toponym Akbulak - "White stream",
then translate a toponym Tereklisay is more complicated. Moreover, in some
sources it is called Serkelisay.
So, on the
appointed day, the group gathered at the agreed place, we plunged into a
minibus and drove towards the Charvak reservoir ..
waterfalls are located in the border area and therefore there was a border post
at the entrance, which checked the cars and wrote down the passport data of all
those entering. According to the organizers' plan, we had to get to this post,
there we change to an old soviet clunker UAZ and then go on it, because there
is no road there - just a knurled track and Soviet "off-road
vehicles" are best suited to such conditions. For your information – UAZ is
a model name of soviet vehicle which using for off-road conditions. We drove on
its minibus version (by the way, manufacturer still producing this model and
can see it here). By the way,
this model didn’t change within more than 50 years! The organizers promised
that we would get lucky with a bright yellow UAZ from the 1960s, and that was
one of the reasons why I signed up for this trip. I really wanted to look at
this "hippie-car”. The organizers separately emphasized that there are no
seats in the car and passengers will travel in the cabin, sitting on carpets
and mattresses laid on the floor. Not very comfortable (as it turned out later,
it was even very very uncomfortable!), But on the other hand it is an
interesting experience and adventure. Before the border post we drove on a
Korean minibus "Istana" and the chair seemed to me not very
comfortable - I once ran over such cars and with my dimensions it is most
convenient for me to sit next to the driver, but that place was occupied by the
guide. But when we returned back to Tashkent, this same chair seemed incredibly
comfortable and soft to me. :)
the clunker was late and therefore, with the permission of the border guards,
we decided to walk around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the border guards
are allowed to photograph the surrounding mountains, but the post itself and
the soldiers on it are strictly forbidden to make their photo. It's a pity ...
We recently carried out a reform of the army and the border guards in their
updated outfit, hung with weapons, look pretty cool and brutal.
hour later, our long-awaited clunker arrived. Alas, instead of the promised
bright yellow “hippie-car” an ordinary and boring military green UAZ arrived,
though with old registration numbers, which have long gone out of use. So what?
There were no traffic cops here and the border guards did not care deeply about
onto the back. I was one of the last to climb, so all the seats near the
windows were occupied - I had to climb into the very depths of the cabin. But I
was lucky - I sat down quite comfortably in the spare wheel, put my backpack
under my back and it turned out even a little comfortable, I was not thrown
around the cabin on bumps and sharp turns.
When I was
here last year, our path ran along a path along the Chatkal River. This river
is full of water and rough, and therefore the government decided to build
another hydroelectric power station here. To do this, they drove the
construction equipment and widened the path, and now it’s impossible to walk
here anymore. Or the dump truck will run over, or you will suffocate in the
construction dust ...
through the construction site and drove on a complete off-road.
On the way,
when we passed a house, a dog barked behind us but soon fell behind.
Due to the
peculiarities of the drawn border line and in order to get to our destination,
we had to drive through the territory of Kyrgyzstan for about 500-600 meters and
again enter the Uzbek territory. There is only one road and there is no way to
go around. Therefore, we had to stop at four checkpoints (two of ours Uzbek and
two in Kyrgyzstan), at each of them our names were carefully recorded in a
journal, noting the time of entry and exit.
By the way,
here I took pride in our border guards - they are better equipped and more
serious than our neighbors. Ours, despite the heat, stand at the post in full
gear, with machine guns at the ready, in bulletproof vests, helmets, with all
the bells and whistles such as spare horns, knives, flashlights and
walkie-talkies, knee pads and elbow pads - in general, everything is serious. At
the neighbors' checkpoint stood a soldier in a T-shirt and camouflage pants and
a machine gun dangled over his shoulder. It is clear that no one is going to
attack anyone and nobody expects a catch from each other. But, nevertheless,
our border guards are vigilant and it pleases.
these roads are used by Soviet off-road vehicles like "Niva" and
"UAZ" of varying degrees of wear and tear. Our car was produced in
1970 and drove pretty well for its half-century age. And behind us was such a
Soviet "SUV", also thoroughly repaired.
There is a
Kyrgyz border post at the confluence of the Chatkal and Akbulak rivers and
while the border guard was copying the data from our passports into his
journal, we walked around and took pictures of the surroundings. Kyrgyz border
guards also do not mind if tourists take pictures of the mountains but they are
strictly forbidden to photograph them. I was tempted to take pictures of the
soldiers on the sly, but I wisely decided not to do it.
nearby we saw a flock of white-headed vultures hovering around the hill.
Apparently there was some kind of fallen sheep or other prey.
the neighbors recorded our data and opened the barrier. Roaring with a motor, our
clunker drove us further. We still stopped at another Uzbek outpost and while,
once again, the border guards were copying our passport data, we walked near
the outpost, picking apples.
all the formalities were completed, we got out of the car and hit the road. In
total, the road to the start of our hiking trip took more than four hours.
of our hike was a waterfall and on the way to it, we had to wade a couple of
On the way,
we came across holes dug by wild boars in search of edible roots and bear
tracks. There are enough of them here.
came across other, less disagreeable traces of bearish activity. But I decided
not to photograph them :).
reached the waterfall. Someone climbed onto it to take a picture. Someone
taking pictures, we walked a little more and stopped under a spreading tree to
rest and have lunch. After lunch, the guide took us to the so-called
are rock figures formed by time and wind, somewhat similar to the statues of
moai from Easter Island
reached the "pillars", we turned around and went back. Since the
program included a visit to the Chukuraksu waterfall.
On the way
back, we went through the whole procedure of checks at the border posts again.
Only this time, the border guards marked the time of departure. While they were
checking the data, I saw a rocky ledge, somewhat similar to a sitting German shepherd
dog - you see, if you dream up, you can see her ears standing upright and her
muzzle facing the mountain?
passing another check, we drove on. Soon we reached a small gorge and began to
climb up the gorge, to the "Bride’s Veil"
At the end
of August there is not enough water here, so the waterfall was not particularly
impressive. Last time it was more water. The guide said that it is better to
come here in winter or spring. In spring there is a lot of water and in winter
it freezes, forming bizarre patterns of icicles. Well, I need to make a note to
Chukuraksu, we returned to the first border post, got into a minibus and went
home. As I already said, after the shaking in the back of the UAZ the seats of
the Korean minibus seemed incredibly soft and comfortable.
On the way,
I took pictures of sunset landscapes ...
On the way out, we got stuck in a traffic jam
- after the quarantine all of Tashkent rushed into the mountains and in the
evening it was impossible to push through the road.
I returned home happy and tired. On the one
hand, it’s even good that the ascent to Greater Chimgan failed.
The next day there was an announcement of the
tours of "Mysterious Uzbekistan" until mid-September. They decided to
rehabilitate themselves and planned so many gorgeous hikes that their heads are
spinning. I want to be in time everywhere! And, I hope soon I’ll visit again
the mysterious Baysun region. I hope…