The Karyshoto gorge and the fortress of Alexander the Great. Seventh trip to Boysun, Uzbekistan

Good day! And again, after a three-week break, let me share with you my travel sketches. Ruthless real life takes up all your free time. Today I would like to tell you about my new (seventh!) Trip to Boysun. Finally, after almost a 1,5 year of trips to Boysun, I managed to visit the ruins of an ancient Greek fortress and a gravitational anomaly. I tried to get there, but as luck would have it at the last moment something happened - either the rain turned the road into an impassable mess, then we walked around the previous location for too long and there was no time left to visit ... And now a year and a half later I, finally got to the coveted locations. And, as often happens, I was a little disappointed.

As soon as I saw the words “ancient fortress” and “gravitational anomaly” in the announcement of “Mysterious Uzbekistan”, I immediately applied for a trip. I have visited most of the locations more than once, but for the sake of these two locations it was worth taking a ride through familiar places one more time. I contacted Sharof, told him about my obsession and clarified - will we definitely get to the locations I need? He promised that even if the group slows down or does not want to go further, the guide will take me separately and show everything. Reassured by this promise, I paid for the trip and waited.

And so, on the appointed day, I stood at the agreed place at the Southern railway station, waiting for the rest of the trip.

We boarded the train and hit the road. Dawn caught us at the entrance to Boysun.

As usual, a smiling Choraka was waiting for us at the station. We greeted each other, hugged each other and went to his house for breakfast.

After a short, but very hearty and tasty breakfast, we went to the Karyshoto gorge - a new location for me, by the way.

On the way we passed through a local village. I love these adobe houses, made with a technology that hasn't changed for hundreds of years. And they look picturesque in photographs. But behind all this delight there is a sad truth - what is it like to live in such houses? No electricity, no running water with sewerage, and as heating - dung (manure with straw) ...

But now we have arrived at the starting point of our trip. Then you have to go on foot.

These gorges are one of the highest in Uzbekistan. In some places, the height of the walls reaches 300m. Like The Wall from "Game of Thrones"! The feature of this location is karst waterfalls and a huge boulder stuck between the walls.

Once again, I made a mistake. The organizers warned that they would have to wade the stream running along the bottom of the gorge and it would not hurt to take spare shoes. But I decided that there was not enough water this year and I could deftly jump from stone to stone - why drag an extra weight with me? As subsequent events showed, I turned out to be overly optimistic. Yes, in principle, it was possible to jump from stone to stone, and other participants in the campaign did so. But with my weight and awkwardness, these jumps are not the best solution. Therefore, during the whole hike, I had to unshoe several times and cross the stream barefoot.

We went deeper and deeper into the canyon. The high walls hid the sun and it became quite chilly below.

Choraka said that somewhere upstream there are salt deposits, which are gradually washed away by water. The white coating in the photo below is exactly the salt. Actually, his words are not devoid of meaning because the Tuz-Gori salt cave is located relatively not far from here. So it is likely that there are also salt deposits nearby.

We reached a place where water was seeping from the walls. Flowing water and moss growing on the walls made me associate with some country in Southeast Asia, like Thailand.

After everyone was photographed under the streams of water, we went further.

Finally, we reached the famous boulder.

After taking a few photos, we headed back.

While we were walking, the drivers (they are also cooks) prepared a lunch. After lunch, we loaded into the cars and went to see the Kurganzol fortress.

I have long wanted to visit the ruins of this fortress, but to be honest, I imagined it differently. However, when I saw the ruins of the fortress, I was slightly disappointed. Frankly, I expected more and better.

Well, firstly, the fortress dates back to the 4th century BC. More precisely, the year 328 BC and it is believed that the place for the construction was personally chosen by Alexander the Great. Although, a number of scientists believe that this is not entirely true. Yes, the dating is correct, but Alexander the Great was hardly here personally. Most likely, the place was chosen by one of his generals.

In a number of sources I read that the fortress is impregnable, because located on a cliff and the only passage was well protected. A detachment of 50-60 soldiers was stationed in the fortress. Well, over 23 centuries, the landscape has probably changed a lot because in my eyes it is nothing unapproachable there - we climbed to the fortress without even breathing out of breath.

I understand that calmly ascending and attacking a fortress under a hail of stones and arrows are two different things. But it seems to me that a detachment of horsemen would quite cope with this task. And as the excavations showed, they are easily coped. According to archaeologists, the fortress was repeatedly destroyed and reconstructed. My personal opinion is that this structure was not for the defense of the surrounding places, but rather for signaling or communication.

The fortress is relatively small. In addition to defensive structures (towers and loopholes), there are also several premises for living and household needs. There is a pool for water inside the fortress. To prevent it from overflowing during the rains, it was equipped with a drain.

It was built of adobe bricks, and the average wall thickness is about 2.5 m.

It doesn't matter whether Alexander the Great was personally here or not, this place is very important from a historical and cultural point of view. And it is all the more painful to see the terrible attitude from the authorities responsible for the preservation of the historical heritage. The ruins are washed away by the rain and that's half the trouble. Among other things, grave robberies operate here. Not even "grave robberies - they have at least some knowledge of archeology, but local vandals looking for ancient coins, metal jewelry or something like that. And the rest, what in their opinion is of no value, they destroy. For example, we came across a pit and shards of a pitcher scattered nearby. And quite large in size. Judging by the pit, this pitcher was embedded in the ground and smashed in the hope of finding the treasure. And they did not think that this pitcher could be more valuable than gold ...

In general, I left Kurganzol with mixed feelings. But it's still good that I got here.

After Kurganzol we went to the already traditional location - the "Ship" rock in the Kyzyl canyon.

I've been here several times and this "Ship" climbed up and down. Therefore, I stayed at the foot and some of the participants climbed up. All of them were in Boysun for the first time and the “Ship” made a huge impression on them.

Well, in order to kill time, I began to photograph the surroundings - the time was approaching sunset and I wanted to catch good shots.

After sunset, we got into our cars and went to Chorak's house for dinner. And here a surprise awaited me - it was decided not to spend the night in his home but go to the hotel. For me it was a surprise - how so? We always spent the night at Choraka's house. Complete disregard for tradition :).

The hotel was unfinished - half of the rooms were not yet finished. And the staff (middle-aged woman) is clearly newcomers to the hotel business. But overall, the hotel was new, the bed linen was clean and there was a hot shower – that’s all what I need.

By the way, the hotel had another colossal drawback - a huge number of mosquitoes. They literally ate me up and in the middle of the night I was forced to completely dress, and pull a buff on my head, and only after that, to the disappointed squeak of mosquitoes, I was able to fall asleep.

The next day we went to familiar places, and also visited the long-awaited gravitational anomaly. But more on that next time.

!pinmapple 38.097347 lat 67.184903 long The Karyshoto gorge and the fortress of Alexander the Great. Seventh trip to Boysun, Uzbekistan d3scr

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