Daroi Kalon Gorge. Again to Boysun ... (part one), Uzbekistan

in #photography2 months ago

Hello! After another break, I bring to your attention new photo-report about my trips to Uzbekistan. My previous post was about climbing the top of Khodzha Buz-Barak Mount. The ascent took place in mid-September and a week later I planned to return to Boysun again and take a walk in new locations.

However, everything went wrong - a few days after returning from Boysun, I collapsed with a temperature. Tests showed I caught this damn COVID-19. I had similar symptoms in July, but then the tests did not give an exact answer – there were some antibodies, but they seem to be insufficient. This time it was very clear. And if so, then all trips were canceled and I again went into deaf self-isolation for almost a month.

And so, almost at the end of October, I decided to make cautious forays into the mountains and, for my luck, "Mysterious Uzbekistan" announced the recruitment of a group for a trip to Boysun. Of course I signed up immediately. Firstly, I wanted to go anywhere, just out of the four walls, and secondly, this is Boysun! And, thirdly, a visit to the Teshik-Tash grotto was announced. The burial place of a Neanderthal girl was discovered here for a long time. I have long wanted to visit this place, because during the quarantine I saw enough video lectures by famous Russian anthropologist Stanislav Drobyshevsky, in which he talked about the Neanderthals and indicated this grotto as a rather unique place. The burial place of the girl was surrounded by horns of wild goats. This suggests that the Neanderthals could have some kind of religious and ritual cults and they were not so primitive as is commonly thought.

Soviet archaeologist Alexei Pavlovich Okladnikov, who found this skeleton at the end of the 30s of the last century, later wrote: _ "Further excavations have revealed an unexpected and truly amazing picture, the likes of which has not been seen by any other researcher: once in a strict order around the skull of a Mousterian man, the horns of a mountain goat were placed clearly according to a certain plan in the form of a circle. This irrefutably testified that there was already a mind, a logical plan of action, a whole world of ideas that stood behind this action. "_

It is clear that neither the horns nor the skeleton are here anymore. By the way, they say that the skeleton is in the Russian Hermitage in Saint-Petersburg. But I really wanted to see how our "primitive cousins" lived before...

However, the visit to Teshik-Tash was scheduled for the second day of the trip. On the first day, a hike along the Darai-Kalon gorge was supposed. By the way, "Darai Kalon" is translated from the Tajik language as "Great or Big Canyon" (or even Grand Canyon :))

So, we boarded the train and set off for another adventure.

An old friend, Choraka was already waiting for us in Derbent. Having greeted each other, we loaded into the cars and set off towards dawn.

I already visited Darai Kalon in February this year. Then it was cold, cloudy and snowy. This time the weather promised to be clear and sunny, and I was sure that the canyon in such weather would look completely different. And I was right.

Of course, on the way we stopped and bought hot cakes and "tandoor gusht" (lamb baked in a tandoor).

After about half an hour or so, we drove up to a familiar village. But like last time, I still did not remember its name.

The sky was covered with beautiful cirrus clouds - the harbingers of bad weather. Looking ahead, I will say that we were lucky - we managed to get out of the canyon before the rain began.

Soon we walked along the already familiar path.

At the very entrance to the canyon, they stumbled upon confirmation that the nature here is still wild. Choraka said that this is the wing of the golden eagle, which was devoured by his brothers.

It was quite warm in the open area, but as soon as we entered the canyon, it immediately got cold and a cool wind blew.

We went deeper into the canyon, gradually gaining height.

Before going on a trip, I read the weather forecast - they promised +13 degrees Celsius. However, I made an amendment that the wind is blowing in the canyon, we will go on an early cold morning, so I warmed myself. While walking on flat terrain, everything was fine but as they began to climb up, I began to warm up from intense walking and sweat. Therefore, we decided to take a little rest and warm up - we made a fire. One of the participants in the hike was carrying a cezve in his backpack and therefore at the halt was expecting a snack with real Turkish coffee. But either I'm a peasant, or the barista from him was so-so. In general, I did not so appreciate this "real Turkish coffee" ...

We walked further up the gorge, took some pictures and went back.

And we managed to do it just in time - when we left the canyon, clouds began to thicken, covering the sun.

We hurried back to the cars - the "tandoor gusht" was waiting for us ...

We decided to have lunch at the entrance to the Derbent Gorge. I wrote about him in more detail in one of the past posts.

After lunch, we went to the hospitable house of Choraka, where a hot shower and a hearty dinner awaited us. But before that, we decided to drop into the Kyzyl canyon (Red Canyon) to photograph the famous rock called as "Ship".

See the clouds in the photo below? They gathered just above Daroi Kalon gorge. We got out of there in time! Otherwise we could easily be washed away by the rain.

We arrived at the Ship when the sun began to set slowly. We quickly ran to the cliff and stopped - the ascent seemed very difficult. Nobody dared to climb it. Guess who got there first? :)

I decided to show off and climbed up. Which I soon regretted very much. It is only at first glance that the "Ship" seems to be an unshakable rock - in fact, it consists of fragile sandstone, which crumbles in hands. Somehow, having climbed up and smeared with dust, I proudly stood on the top posing for our guide. The rest of the group did not dare to rise. Then Choraka could not stand it and climbed up to me. I must say that although he is 60 years old, he can easily give odds to any young guys. He easily climbed up and the rest of the participants, inspired by example, followed him.

While they were climbing up, I ran to the other end of the "Ship" and took pictures of the surroundings.

When the group gathered, we took a group photo and headed downstairs.

The sun was already setting, the sky was overcast with clouds and the barely breaking sun, coupled with the old buildings, gave the surrounding landscape a post-apocalyptic look.

We arrived at Choraka's house and, waiting for my turn to wash, I was sitting in the garden, resting after a busy day.
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Then there was a delicious dinner, after which we went to sleep since tomorrow we expected an equally eventful day. In the house are three guest rooms, but one was being renovated. Therefore, the boys slept in one room and the girls in another. This is how the boys slept :)

Despite the fact that Choraka's house is not a five-star hotel (there seems to be only one hotel in Boysun), it is nevertheless quite cozy, clean and comfortable. I fell asleep just instantly, as soon as my head touched the pillow.

The next we went to the Teshik-Tash grotto, but more about that in my next post.