"Along the familiar paths ..."- Gidzhal, Uzbekistan
Hello! Finally, in the fourth week of self-isolation, I gotten around to publish of a post about my second trip to Gidzhal. In my previous topic I already wrote about my first visit to this wonderful location. And although the first journey took place in a continuous fog, I still managed to imagine the beauty of these places and became very enthusiastic to walk about once again along this route.
"Mysterious Uzbekistan" posted a photo report on the last trip on its social networks accounts and it aroused great interest among subscribers. It is no wonder - because the photos turned out to be mysterious and otherworldly. Therefore, almost 30 people signed up for the next trip. I think the introduction of quarantine in Uzbekistan has played a significant role. As I already wrote, on March 15, we discovered the first case of coronavirus and immediately closed all borders, canceled study in universities and schools. Most of the population began to be sent on vacation or transferred to remote work. It became clear that the introduction of complete self-isolation and the closure of cities is only a matter of the near future. Therefore, I decided to take advantage of the remaining free days to the maximum and ride in the mountains. I did it on time! The trip was planned for March 22, exactly after the spring holiday of Navruz.
Departure was scheduled for 6 a.m. and shortly before it I read on the government Telegram-channel, an official message appeared that public transport was stopping its work, Tashkent’s borders were closing and intercity traffic would also be restricted starting from this evening. Nevertheless, we calmly left the city (apparently an early departure played into our hands) and rushed to the mountains. During such trips, I like to watch the sunrise - it seems to be burning.
After an hour and a half, we arrived in the village of Gidzhal - the starting point of our trip. This time the guides decided to slightly change the route and make it more picturesque. We were going to walk along the bed of the Aksakatasay River, then climb the marble plateau and go down to the cars along it.
Translated into English, Aksakata means “lame old man” - this local saint who miraculously created this river. In general, the shores of Aksakatasay are rich in archaeological and paleontological finds. It is no wonder - once, in the Cretaceous period, tens of millions of years ago the sea splashed here and all sorts of toothy "-zavors" swam. Time, wind and water have carved canyons and ravines in local limestone sediments. Here we walked along them.
Alas, I do not know how to translate the name of the village, but I read that near the village of Gidzhal, ruins of fortress houses dating from the X-XII centuries were found. Those, a thousand years ago people lived here. Moreover, in these places people lived even 30-40 thousand years ago. When quarantine will be cancelled, I’m planning to come here again and photograph the sites of primitive people, their petroglyphs and cave paintings. Oh, you cannot imagine how I want to come here...
Going upstairs, we went to one of the clearings and saw some kind of spiral laid out of stones. The guides said that it was laid out by one of their rival friends, who was fond of all sorts of quasi-religious teachings. Something related to energy, aura and the like...
Soon we went to yet another clearing, on which the tree famous in these places grows - it’s a very old nut that has almost dried up. Only a couple of branches are still alive.
This clearing offers excellent views of the Aksakatasay bed and the nearby mountains.
When we started near the village of Gidzhal, we were joined by a local dog, who followed us the entire route. We fed him, stroked and squeezed. This is not the first time local dogs have made us company. On a trip around Urikbel, dog model Muynak joined us. During a trip to the Aeolian city, a couple of local dogs protected us from other dogs. Those. our shaggy companions are called "practiced" their treats. At the same time, I got some kind of stupid and eternally hungry dog who constantly begged for food. Apparently it is still young ...
By the way, I looked at the history of my blog here and did not find a post about my last year’s trip to Machitasgon. There was also a very smart dog walking with us, who showed us fords through streams, and in general looked after us. So the idea for the next story came up. :-)
When we climbed into the next meadow, we found a herd of sheep. In turn, the dog guarding this herd found us and with a bark rushed to defend its wards. And now, it would seem, the finest hour of our new shaggy friend has come to prove himself and show that it is not in vain that we feed him. But no, it not paying attention to the clutter, calmly went on leaving us to deal with the shepherd on our own. Fortunately, everything worked out well. The herd remained untouched and a dog didn’t bite us.
We went around the herd in a wide arc and began to climb up to the marble plateau and eagles soared above us. A bewitching sight ...
Climbing the hill, we sat down to take a breath and enjoy the surroundings. After about ten or fifteen minutes, we began to climb the marble plateau. There was scheduled lunch and a small halt. As soon as they got out their sandwiches our dog immediately appeared and again began to beg for food. But since he significantly dampened his reputation, only a couple of pieces passed him from us.
It was warm and sunny. Someone after lunch lay down to take a nap, but I decided to wander along the hills and take pictures of the surroundings.
Remember, I said that there used to be a sea here? The whole plateau was dotted with petrified shells.
And among them ladybugs crawled ...
Over there, still covered in snow, Mount Syurenata.
After about an hour or a half our improvised camp came to life, the people began to pack their things and go down.
We went down slowly, taking pictures on the edge of the cliff.
Soon, we went down to the foot of the plateau to the village, where cars were waiting for us.
When we arrived at Tashkent, it turned out that minibuses were not allowed to enter the city and we were forced to disembark on the outskirts and already taking a taxi to our house. Quarantine restrictions began to gain strength. At first, public transport was limited, all café & restaurants, gyms, beauty salons and non-grocery stores were closed. Now, all residents of Tashkent and other major cities of the country should be in self-isolation and go out only to buy food or medicine in nearby shops and pharmacies. Movement in the city is limited, the use of vehicles without a special permit sticker is prohibited, and patrols catch offenders. The number of cases is growing every day and has already reached almost 800 people. More than 144 thousand people are in specialized quarantine institutions. Alas, not everyone understands that these are forced strict measures and in the news I constantly read that thousands of quarantine violators have been fined, hundreds of cars without stickers have been placed in fine parking lots.
It's funny but in a normal situation it was not difficult for me to sit at home a couple of days at home. And now, when I MUST be at home, I am really tormented by an irresistible desire to go out. :-)
I want to believe that this quarantine will end soon and I will go on another trip again. It's a shame that such a beautiful spring passes by ...
In the meantime, I’m sitting in self-isolation, I read books, watch all kinds of online courses, train under the strict online-supervision of my trainer and plan to get out of quarantine better than I entered it. :-)
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