Karakia Waterfalls

Tired of the heatwave we have in Tashkent, I joined a group hike to Karakia which is on the way to Gazalkent. It is a perfect destination to see waterfalls and swim. Karakia is the name of the stream that flows here and means “black rock”. The minibus left us at the edge of the village after about an hour and a half drive from Tashkent. From here we walked along a dusty road up to a large black rock where we crossed the stream.

We reached the rock

There were two elderly women in our group, so we were walking very slowly. After about an hour’s walk, they decided to stay by the stream in the shadows of trees and wait for us there. Since the rest of the group included only young people we started walking much faster. In another 15 minutes or so we reached the place where the two forks of the stream join. Here we had some rest time for a snack.

Our brunch spot

Then we took the track leading up the hill along the left fork to get to the first waterfall. It is beautiful and resembles a horsetail, although it is very shallow. Once we got there, we took some photos and also collected some rubbish we found near the waterfall. Then we went back to the point where the two forks meet.

The first waterfall

The second waterfall is along another fork of the stream, and it took us about 30 minutes to get there. It’s quite picturesque and is good for swimming. There were several guys swimming there, and they were making too much noise. I decided to join our guide Nuria and swim a bit further from the waterfall itself. The views there were stunning.

The water is refreshingly cool. Photo credit: Nuria Garifullina
Isn’t it blissful? Photo credit: Nuria Garifullina

I wanted to see the third waterfall as well, like Nuria and Igor, a young man from our group. The other five people from our group decided to stay here, have lunch and relax by the water. Nuria, Igor and I headed towards the third waterfall, which took us about 45 minutes. We could see the starting point of the waterfall and spend about a quarter of an hour there.

Top of the third waterfall

Then we decided to have a look at petroglyphs – drawings of ancient people – that are on the rocks above the waterfall.

After it, we returned to the waterfall and then climbed up the rocks to get back to the trail. It was a bit challenging, but I liked it much more than walking along the trail.

Igor helping me to climb the rock. Photo credit: Nuria Garifullina

By 3 p.m. we returned to the second waterfall where the others were waiting for us. Unfortunately, most people are not worried about leaving nature intact. There was a lot of rubbish left near the waterfall, which was upsetting. We collected five packets of the plastic bottles and other rubbish that we came across. Apart from this fact, the trip was exciting and fun.