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Wandering in the Fog, Gidzhal, Uzbekistan

Wandering in the Fog, Gidzhal, Uzbekistan

March 2020 · 6 min read · Tashkent Region


In my last post I announced a story about a trip with "Mysterious Uzbekistan" into the mysterious and foggy Gidzhal ring.

Frankly speaking, I expected that the trip would be more picturesque than mysterious. But the weather decided otherwise. Almost the entire trip took place in dense or very dense fog. At first I was upset, because the real and expected pictures did not match. The announcement included photographs of high cliffs and precipices. However, then I even liked it - it was very unusual and there was a reason to return here again.

According to the Mysterious Uzbekistan so called Gidzhal ring is a tour of the marble plateau in the vicinity of the Aksakatasay River near a village named Gidzhal. By the way, I have already been in those parts when I made climbing the Surenata.

The campaign took place on March 7, right before International Women's Day. At first I didn’t want to go anywhere because I had to prepare gifts, congratulate my women, etc... But I prepared the gifts in advance, I congratulated my colleagues in the middle of the week. So why hang around at home?

So, we left Tashkent at 6 a.m. and it’s quite acceptable for me, although the distance to the destination is small, I think it would be possible to postpone the departure an hour later. Anyway, after an hour and a half, we were already there. It was pretty cool and fog was swirling around the hills. According to weather forecasters, closer to dinner the fog should have dispersed. Alas, they were mistaken.

Since it was cool, I decided to go faster to keep warm and to take photos of people coming out of the fog - it all looked a little creepy.

Source (by the way, it's me on the far left) ;-)

Soon, on one of the hills we saw ghost horses…

The fog was either thickening or dispersing ...

Sometimes it became so thick that it seemed as if a milk wall were in front of you.

... And sometimes it dissipated and it seemed that the sky was about to clear ...


We went around the hills and began to climb the marble plateau. Then I noticed an interesting phenomenon: some tree sprouted through the branches of juniper. Or they grew so close that their branches intertwined.

And a little further off I saw the juniper in the form of a card suit "spades" ...

We walked along the marble stem, going around it and going up and up. According to the tour program, we had to go up, go around the plateau along the edge and go down, back to the cars, simultaneously enjoying the picturesque views. However, due to the fog the picturesque views were cancelled....

And yet, there is some kind of charm in wandering in the fog - it muffles all sounds and it is easy to lose direction in it. Our guide constantly checked on GPS with a route, from time to time changing the direction. If it weren’t for modern technology, we would definitely be lost.

Soon we went to a clearing, which had strange mounds. At first I thought that these were old branches, but the guide explained that these were tunnels of local field mice. Imagine a tiny mouse manages to dig such long tunnels!

Remember, I said that the fog conceals sounds and it is very easy to get lost in it? So, we went upstairs and went out onto the old asphalt road leading to the foot of the Syurenata. In principle, it is impossible to get lost on this road – just go and go ahead and it will lead you to the right place. Therefore, the group was a little stretched - the most frozen took a quick step to keep warm, and part of the group was a little behind. One of our companions from the "behind" group got lost - decided to go behind the bushes and the group did not notice the loss of the one of members. When he left, the whole group had already gone ahead. Instead of catching up with the group (especially since you had to go along the asphalt road without turning anywhere), he first waited on the spot, called for a guide, and then turned and walked back. It’s good that he contacted the guide by cell phone and he rushed after him. Well, we, waiting for our guide and the "lost guy", sat on the sidelines to have a bite and drink hot tea from thermoses.

This group was international. In addition to the Uzbeks, the group also had a couple of Hungarians. One of them is a colorful and funny middle-aged man who used every opportunity and any horizontal surface to lie on his karemat. And so, while we were waiting for the lagging comrades, he lay down right in the middle of the road and began to sing songs in Hungarian, and then recite some verses. It was some kind of sur! :-) Imagine: the Uzbek mountains, a road lost in fog and a man lying on it, singing loudly in Hungarian.

But now, the whole group is again assembled and we went on. Having reached the top of the plateau, we turned left and began to descend along a rocky cliff. It was supposed that it was here that wonderful views of the Aksakatasay River and the mountains surrounding it should open. Unfortunately, we only heard the noise of the river, visibility was limited to only a few meters ...

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But even in the fog it was clear how high these cliffs were and how steep the rocks ...

But now, we finally went down to the car and the fog began to dissipate. There were humorous suggestions to repeat the campaign, given the changing weather conditions. However, everyone was so frozen that no one took these proposals seriously. However, I firmly decided that I would definitely return here in clear weather and walk along these steep cliffs again. That’s straight necessarily!

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And two weeks later, I still realized my desire. And this time the weather did not disappoint. I saw and photographed everything I wanted. But more on that in the next post ...

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