Chimgan mountains and Charvak lake – Travel Diaries – Uzbekistan | Day 3
IKIGAI – A reason for being; the thing that gets you up in the morning.
What got me up that morning was the fact that I was going to see some beautiful places and I was way too excited to sleep anymore.
Our first stop for the day was Chimgan mountains. It is the most popular ski resort in Uzbekistan located in a mountain range called Tian Shan near Chirchiq. It’s a good 2-hour drive from Tashkent. The main peak – Greater Chimgan stands at 3309m above sea level. It looks like a peak of a star with rays of slopes dispersing in different directions.
Chimgan, when translated, means green grass or green valley. Winter draws in a lot of tourists who come for winter sports. Chimgan mountains house various recreational centers, sanatoriums, hotels, cottages and cafes.
After a very long drive, the mountain peaks finally started to come into view and I was excited about going up to the top of the beautiful mountains. As I stood on the raised platform waiting for my chairlift, my nerves started to kick in when I saw what would be taking me to the top, but it was too late to back out. So I put my trust in the men beside me who would assist me in getting onto it.
I was briefed to slightly bend my knees and I did so after taking one last nervous glance at the seat coming towards me. And before I knew it I was slammed onto the seat and whisked away in a matter of seconds.
You might wonder what got me so terrified. Let me tell you, the chairlift was just a simple chair. DUH!! Chairlift = chair, I should’ve known that. Well, I wasn’t prepared for it! The only thing that kept me from falling off my chair was a loose restraint that didn’t go all the way through.
So I’m finally accepting the fact that I cant do anything about it and start to look around as I make my way up. I did loosen up and start enjoying the ride after some time. But I made sure to hold onto the restraint for dear life.
Halfway through the ride, there was a platform with a man ready to take my photo as I passed by. And I finally made it to the top after a 30-minute ride.
It’s time to jump off the moving chairlift and that’s the moment I regretted wearing ankle socks. The 30-minute ride up in the freezing cold with exposed, frozen ankles meant searing pain the minute I jumped off. And for a split second, I thought I’d broken my ankles. But all was well and good and I was off taking photos and taking in the beautiful view from up top.
So after spending some time on top, I was back on the platform and dreading the process of having to get onto the chairlift yet again.
It was a lot colder as we made our way down. It was around 1 or 2 degrees. The ride down I made sure to keep my legs swinging the entire time to prevent it from getting too cold and hurting on impact. And it worked!!
Once I was on solid ground again I rushed to buy the photo that was taken (around 3000 so’m per photo).
I had seen photos of the lake before and I was very thrilled to go and explore the place. So after a quick lunch, I rushed out to start taking pictures of the breathtaking landscapes.
Around 4 we leave the lake and head to Hotel Nur to experience Uzbek cuisine and culture. We were served Uzbek starters and their specialty vodka while beautiful women danced to some of the popular Indian hit songs. Certainly, a great way to end the day.
WHAT FASCINATED ME?
The people!! They are the most genuinely welcoming people you’ll come across. And as an Indian, everywhere we went people would come to us to take pictures with us or just to talk for a little while.
- If you plan on riding up the chairlift, be very cautious. It is advisable that kids don’t go on it.
- During winter/fall, the temperatures are very low on the mountain tops. Wear warm clothing. Thermal wear is going to be your savior.
- If you decide to buy the photo that was taken while going up the chairlift, be very cautious, as they tend to quote a very high price to a foreigner.
- Suggested to carry medications to treat travelers stomach.
- If in Tashkent during summer make sure to visit Charvak lake resort as it is in full swing at that time. The pool is functional, one can have bonfires by the lake, there are live music and entertainment as well.