Climbing "Roof of the world"
Day 4. "Seven lakes - seven colors"
Early in the morning, having risen at a dawn, we went to Haft Kul (Seven lakes) - the cascade of seven mountain lakes in Fann mountains. The road took us about two hours, basically on foothills, and since the certain moment it has started to squeeze into picturesque mountain gorge. To tell the truth we have reached that day only the fifth - "red" lake (60 km from Pendzhikent) - we didn't succeed to get further, otherwise we'd have to stay overnight here, and its majesty the schedule did not allow. It is said that all these lakes have different colors - we were convinced of it personally, exactly up to the fifth.
The first lake Nezhigok - dark blue, "ink" as we named it, generally has surface with transparent greenish coastal strips. The second - lake Soya was dark turquoise, the third - lake Nafin - turquoise, the fourth - lake Hurdak - tiny, in the form of flood on small river Holonichiston (all these lakes are located on it) is designated on a card, but because of the big detour of this place on mountains we have not seen it. The fifth lake Marguzor was the biggest and of reddish color, and in some places fully of red color. Besides, local residents have told that it reddens on Thursdays (and luckily it was Thursday).
Certainly I was a little bit skeptic to this fact thinking that if we arrived to the pier on Monday we would hear exactly the same story, but with Monday as a character!?. However, actually, for the tourist it would be always desirable to believe in all miracles, which he is presented on the way (and people on it) - otherwise what would you go for and consequently skepticism was calmed down by absolutely indifferent and impartial appearance of local shepherds who opened such an information - all the same there were not tourist guides but shepherds - what for they should mislead us so obviously …
But nevertheless the big and extended lake Marguzor was all in red stains and floods and we tried to guess what it was according to each other's own "beliefs".
It is necessary to notice that on the way back, apparently, somewhere on an exit of water from the first lake in a dimple of a big stone, standing out of water we saw red water. How it got here, not having painted three lakes through which it has passed, what structure it had - all of it remained enigmatic for us...
Jolting on the impassability, becoming for us daily routine which was named by us in the comic form "going for tadzhi-chuan" (in the manner of smooth, plastic and opposite in movements ancient Chinese "tajdzi-chuan" technique). Sharp rocking on mountain roads of Tajikistan was prepared for us - horizontal, vertical, forward, back, and periodically - heaving upwards - all it meant development of new technique of survival during long distance.
On the road we have called in to the settlement of Pandzhrud - the birthplace of Rudaki where we have visited the museum of memory and the mausoleum of the legendary medieval poet.
Further, we began rising along small mountain river towards Artuch alpinist camp. On the road we have stopped near rural boys swimming in a small creek - to take a picture of them, but here I have not sustained and also run to swim with them not taking off the clothes (to the great delight of above mentioned boys). The reason for it was not only heat, but also an old habit to swim everywhere and always - whether it is blueness of water of Mountain Lake or oozy mud of a channel. Among my Tashkent friends we even have a small fan club of people who like to swim in channels - well, certainly, not in the city but out in the country.
But what is more interesting and subsequent, my frequent swimming have generated at first bewilderment, then curiosity, and then the whole movement of followers from our expedition and here in some days Hursheda opa the first ran out from the car and right in a dress stood under any waterfall on road. In general everyone began swimming - even conservatives, early looking at such water, as at unsuitable one. "The bad example is infectious …"
There was no net coverage and we stopped grubbing mobile phones and all the way surveyed the road. There are many mobile operators in Tajikistan - it seems more than six, but we have been advised for travel on remote and mountain areas Tcell as its coverage is better in the north, and for a southern part of travel - MLT.
On kilometric area the way from Lake Marguzor to Artuch was only 126 km., but the road took us half-day (Heh, roads...).
Now revived thanks to private initiatives, earlier almost completely plundered in the ninetieth, legendary Artuch alpinist camp has fanned us by alpinist-bard romanticism, however to lodge in anew repaired cottages for 50 dollars per person in high-occupancy rooms of an old wooden two-storey building, let even for the symbolical price wasn't our desire and we decided to set up at last the camp and to spend the night in tent.
Behind stone border adjoining summer camp of shepherds, with their favorable permission, on a green lawn nearby a cold river we began setting the wigwam that has turned to the whole epopee - one of considerable chapters of "Tajikistan Orexiad". Already removing the tent from a luggage carrier of the car three of us noticed that it seemed to be a little bit heavy.
Having coped with its carrying over from point "A" to point "B" we began first sorting it out, and then tried to set it, and what?! It has appeared to be a huge American military tent for 10 pax, with thick three-layer walls and without any bottom at all. Heh, exactly that moment we needed 8 healthy American soldiers who would pull eight corners of the tent and two of them who would raise the dome from inside. However it was necessary to manage resources available for us and four men of course not without efforts set and stretched the dear tent, let it be crooked and wry.
The truth is that it reminded more likely the lop-sided shabby shed, than a pride and combatant tent, but at least it was possible to sleep in it. Total absence of a bottom (we dreamt to lay though one of three thick layers of the tent on a bottom) has been compensated by several "kurpachas" (thin mattresses) and the old oriental carpets kindly given by the head of the family of shepherds (in which it seems matriarchy reigned) - the elderly woman, who sheltered us on the territory of picturesque piece of land standing in a distance both from the summer camp and from alpinist camp.
Hursheda opa cooked palov which was as always very tasty. We asked Muhammad ako, the present owner of Artuch camp, to dinner. It has appeared that he comes from a nearby kishlak, however for a long time already he lives in Dushanbe and works in Republican Office of Public Prosecutor. However, as he admitted to us at a fire, his soul was there and as far as possible he comes especially on holidays. By the way it was his holiday that time.
After all I have not gone to tent, and slept in a sleeping bag under stars which were unusual, just of a huge size each one. Falling asleep, I looked at these amazing stars, thinking about eternal, and … have not noticed, how fell asleep. The next scene was the sense of feeling that someone was standing nearby. In a clearing up consciousness immediately appeared stories about numerous wolves and bears inhabiting in those mountains. These reflexions took a second.
Then, despite all unwillingness, the decision to open eyes was taken. Indeed someone stood nearby. Not nearby, but directly over my head and under huge stars there was a head of a huge shepherd's dog. We have looked at each other and then "night watch" has lost interest and grandly left. I have received another portion of positive emotions from it and in this condition continued sleeping, expecting early waking up and looking forward to trek coming for the morning.
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