|Vasiliy on a summer hike in Chimgan|
The area was already popular in Tsarist times: the Governor of Turkestan built his country house there. Later, Russian army doctors had a hospital built to take advantage of the healing properties of mountain air.
It is also where Uzbeks have had their dachas for generations, grown vegetables and fruits and pickled them for winter.
Last October I spent a marvellously clear autumn day hiking around the area near Beldersoy with Vasiliy Eremin. A Moscow-trained teacher of the accordion and other musical instruments, Vasiliy's passion is mountains.
|Vasiliy Eremin on a late-summer hike, Chimgan|
The beginning of the trail was steep and stony as we hiked up to the Mramornaya river (altitude1500m) then followed the stream to the Urta Kumbel Pass (1850m) then down to the Beldersay river gorge. Vasiliy had prepared a delicious picnic lunch of non (Uzbek bread), cheese and salami, plus kishmish (sweet, small raisins from his garden).
After lunch we hiked up to the second pass, Chet Kumbel, 1880m. The views of the Western Tien Shan mountain range were beautiful. The landscape was more forested, the silence and stillness perfect. We simply walked along companionably, crossed the cable car station and then back down to the hotel.
|Vasiliy is an all-season hiker|
If hiking or birdwatching appeals to you, Uzbek Journeys can arrange two and three-day excursions to Chimgan staying at the Beldersay resort hotel. And, if you like, Vasiliy may bring his guitar.
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