Some people call this place as Uzbek Switzerland – a forest full of enormous pine trees and the beautiful scenery.
I heard about this place a year ago – about its magnificent forest and the waterfall that turns into ice in winter, so I was looking forward to this trip. As soon as I was an announcement, I asked my friend Gulshan to join me to explore another new destination for us.
The drive from Tashkent to our destination took us about three and a half hours. When we arrived we found ourselves in a peaceful and quiet village at the foot of the hill. We went up to the hill and went towards the forest that was seen in the distance. The guide couldn’t remember the trail that led to the waterfall, so she decided to ask locals for the directions. There was a man there who led the way and explained how to get there. We came to the stream we saw that there were two large logs, that served as a bridge. Crossing over the brook took our group some time because women were not very brave to walk confidently on the logs. Then we started our ascent up the steep hill, moving very slowly. I was glad to have my hiking poles as it took my breath away.
After about 20-25 minutes, we were at the waterfall, which was very small – a tiny stream of water, falling down from 5 meter long rocks. This waterfall is very beautiful in winter, as it freezes and looks extraordinary. We took some photos there and then continued our ascend, enjoying the breathtaking scenery that surrounded us. The whole track goes through a pine forest which is full of enormous pine trees. We stopped near one of them and took some photos, sitting and standing on it. While we were going along the path, we heard the sound of water coming from the distance, and decided to check what it was. It turned out to be another small waterfall, but it was so different and magnificent. It seemed as if every single drop of water could be seen, while the sun-rays falling on it created a stunning view.
Spending about 20 minutes there, enjoying the view and taking photos, we proceeded on our way up the hill. We walked for another hour or so and decided to stop for lunch. We found a nice spot around trees and everyone took out the food they brought. While we were there, another group of hikers approached and they also stopped for lunch. Three women from our group, who were walking too slowly, didn’t join us but instead found another spot near the water. By the time we finished our lunch one of them, Shahnoza came, exclaiming that they found a hill full of wild peonies, so we picked up our backpacks and followed her.
The hill was a few meters away from our lunch point, but it was hidden behind the trees. The flowers were purplish and very beautiful, some fully opened and some were still buds. We spent another half an hour enjoying the beautiful scenery and taking photos, which cannot express the whole beauty of the place.
Our guide persuades us to continue our hike, promising even more striking views ahead of us. On the way, we saw probably the largest pine tree that distinctly stood out among other trees. We took the narrow path going along the edge of quite a large canyon to get to the other side of the mountain. Reaching the top, I decided to stay there and have a nap, as I was feeling extremely sleepy throughout the day. As a result of this drowsiness, I couldn’t fully enjoy the experience. Gulshan also joined me and we chose a place where we could lie down, although it was not the best option – we were surrounded by giant fennel plant. It was rather cool in the shade and we did not bring any warm clothes so we considered a sunny place would be perfect. The rest of the group left to explore further, and by the time they returned we managed to have some sleep and were feeling much better.
It was time to return so we slowly started our descent. In another thirty minutes or so we reached our starting point, where the minibus was waiting for us. About three hours later we were back in Tashkent, feeling tired but excited to have seen such a wonderful place.