Back to the Iskanderkul trip, which I should really finish blogging about since it will be two weeks ago that I went up there later tonight. First off, I posted lots of photos on Facebook of the trip up to the lake and the surrounding area. I’ll share some more here, but if you want to see the whole kit and kaboodle, that’s where to go.
Now back to the story; after we poked around the lake and saw an impressive waterfall and a clear calm pond (photos on Facebook, see above), we hustled off to the village of Saratok (which may, in fact, be spelled Saratag) and made it to a homestay there in time for lunch. Of course, my tummy was rumbling a bit due to the lack of yogurt, so I ambled around back to the outhouse. You couldn’t ask for a much nicer view from the toilet than this:
And yes, the john was far cleaner than the one I previously showed.
After liberal application of anti-bacterial lotion and noshing on “Snickirs” — not Snickers bars, mind you, but Snickirs the cookie — the owner of the homestay, Dilovar, took on his second role as our guide and showed us around the countryside surrounding Saratok. The scene was one of beautiful alpine vistas:
The hills are alive . . .
. . . with the sound of music, la la la la . . .
The weather was just right and even a bit cool, which was a terrific change of pace from the blistering heat we’ve had in Dushanbe the past few weeks.
The next day we did another multi-hour hike, and this one was easier for me as I was wearing proper hiking books and not flip-flops (see, Dilovar hadn’t mentioned that our “walk” the day before would be 4+ hours and would include some decent up-and-down). We saw a bunch of cute, though often befuddled Tajik kids on the side of the trail, and unlike their elders who seemed shy when the camera came out, these kids would look right at you.
Up by the summer pastures.
Sometimes, I confuse children.
The scenery continued to amaze, although people who have been out to the Pamirs say that that part of Tajikistan blows away the Zerafshan Valley where we were. We’ll see; it was pretty tremendous to see all the wildflowers in bloom, little stone shelters scattered amongst them, with the mountains in the distance.
Inspiration for Tom Petty, I suppose
After the hike on the second day up in Saratok, we headed back to Dushanbe, this time we went over the famous Anzob Pass. To be continued . . .
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