A Travellerspoint blog


Tonight we stay in a yurt

Today we left Samarkand and headed into the desert. As we get further from the capital, the roads get worse, so the travel becomes slower. Also, the distances between our destinations are becoming greater.
Our first stop was the town of Nurata. Here we visited the location of a fortress built by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C. It is the location of a natural spring which has been preserved and continues to provide water. The spring is believed to have special healing qualities and it is also the home to some sacred fish called marinka. We had lunch at the home of a local woman, which she has opened up to serve meals to travellers. One interesting feature of many of our meals here has been the widely-available “artichoke salad”. It consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and spices, but not a shred of artichoke!
We continued into the desert and eventually reached the shores of a man made lake. Lake Aydar was formed in the 1960s by the diversion of flood waters. It continues to grow, despite being wholly surrounded by desert. One of our group went in for a swim, and some of the rest of us waded in to our knees.
We continued our journey into the desert until we reached our yurt camp, where we spent the night. We enjoyed some afternoon leisure, and a desert sunset before dinner. Then we were entertained around the campfire by a singer with an Uzbek stringed instrument. For reasons that were not clear to us, the two of us shared a large “honeymoon yurt” while all the rest of our party shared the male and female yurts.

Ruins of fortress built by Alexander the Great
View of Chashma Complex in Nurata
Small mosque at the Chashma Complex
Lake Aydar
Our yurt camp
Inside our honeymoon yurt.
Horseman near our yurt camp.

Posted by Jimpat 04:13

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