Blogs from Fan Mountains, Tajikistan, Asia


Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains September 26th 2022

Another quick Trekkup trip. This was a makeup trip for the one I missed a month before with stupid Covid. I was a bit wary of this one - work was killing me, I was so tired, and the thought of a long hike in the hot mountains was a bit daunting. But since my last meeting on Friday went well I decided to suck it up and go. We met up at Terminal 2 at the airport; I had driven and parked because I had an early meeting Monday morning upon return. I realized there was no group leader on this trip even though there were 14 of us. However, T said the guide was very knowledgeable and would be able to handle it himself. He was right - Saidbek was great! The flight was ... read more
Dinosaur footprints - see them?
Road to Iskanderkul
Shirkent Valley - delicious lunch!

Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains July 30th 2022

While doing a week of volunteering in Dushanbe I tried to work out what to do with five additional days I had tagged onto the trip to go and explore the country. I was equipped with a slightly dated Lonely Planet for Central Asia, which dedicated a scant 46 pages to travelling in Tajikistan, 33 of which were about Dushanbe (which I had been exploring already), the Pamirs (too far afield for the time available), or Afghanistan (unfortunately not allowed on my single entry visa…). So there wasn’t much to go on. From what little information there was I decided to head to Iskanderkul, a lake in the Fann mountains, and Sarytag, a small village just beyond it which I hoped would offer some hiking opportunities, although the blistering 40 degree heatwave and my perpetual tendinitis ... read more
Lots of ultra modern apartments
Park overlooking Dushanbe

Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains August 28th 2018

Day 8 Tuesday 28 August A low key day after the beauty and exertions of the last few. Sleep well despite city noises and big trucks driving by through the night. The open window kept the temperature down. We drive back towards Dushanbe stopping at a roadside resto for breakfast. Breakfast is eggs, delicious, but more amazing is the bread with fresh cream. Really, really good. Back through the tunnel of death by 0930, we survive again. Stop at the beekeeper man. Love his colourful hives, buy M and J a jar of honey as a gift, I don't love honey as much as I love the hives and the bees. As we arrive into the outskirts of Dushanbe I ask M if he can help me get a SIM, he's happy to help but the ... read more
Eating Platform

Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains August 27th 2018

Day 7 27 August Kulikalon Lake (2980m) to Alovaddin Lake (2180m). High point for day 3780 m- elevation gain 800m, loss 1240m as we drive back down to Iskanderkul (famous) and ultimately Kahramon (not even slightly famous, I can't find it on google maps or any search function). Got to start early in order to meet our pickup at 1200. I'm awake at 5 anyway. Lie in my trusty S2S Trek 3 bag and soak in the whole surreal experience. I start packing up as the sun hits the glacier. Again a "helper" arrives at 0630 to "help" me with my tent- too late I'm all over it. My turn to cook breakfast this morning- porridge with pears- very delicious actually. We squash into the big tent for this- my position is in the back right ... read more
Breakfast Time
Hiking up out of the bowl

Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains August 26th 2018

Day 6 26 August Chukurak Lake (2350m) to Kulikalon Lake (2980m). High point for day 3190 m- elevation gain 840m, loss 210 m Slept really well in between waking for the donkey calling then walking for Max (the dog)- consensus is that there was probably a wolf around. By final morning wake up Max is gone. I'm up at 0527, no one else is, it's very peaceful, and for the first time in days I feel like food. Pack up my tent- try to do it surreptitiously but there is no escape the helping hands. I will have to try pack up even earlier tomorrow. Pack my pack while Mohammed is whipping up b/f- he's made porridge with condensed milk and apples- damn good. We also have bread and jam and instant coffee. Excellent start. At ... read more
Stinky Lake.

Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains August 25th 2018

Day 5 25 August Zimtut Village (1910m) to Chukurak Lake (2350m) Wake early feeling average at best, no appetite. Breakfast arrives- bread and condensed milk (good), but then more breakfast arrives- oily egg/onion/tomato dish. Oh dear... Head up the hill with the 2 little girls to try and walk it off. There are a lot of donkeys arriving on the hill below me from the valley, they are all laden with massive dried grass loads and being driven by small kids with big sticks. Load our donkey then, like breakfast another one arrives. We have 2 donkeys, I knew we were oversupplied :). Finally 3.5 hrs after waking up we are off. Donkey 1 is a good donkey, Donkey 2- not so much- he's naughty, flatulent and loud. It's hilly from the get go, lots of ... read more
Time To Leave
Fully Loaded

Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains August 24th 2018

Day 4 Collection time is 0900, awake really early, still have cramps and diarrhea. Do the whole Azithromycin, Buscopan, Gastrostop thing. Feel v apprehensive given how yuck I feel. Having said that, I still get completely packed up- my backpack plus a bag to leave at Marians, in record time. Manage an egg with some bread and jam. Buscopan, my friend... By the time Mohammed, my guide, arrives I am feeling ok- 5/10 ok. Today is going to be light and mostly driving so fingers crossed it'll be ok. But first, a trip to the supermarket. Mohammed is 23 (same age as my youngest son). The driver, Joomart, probably 30's. The jeep, green and sturdy, not sure. Saidali (owner of travel company) calls- there has been a change of plan, Mohammed will be my guide for ... read more
Spotted in Supermarket
Spotted in Supermarket
Bee Keepers Kettle

Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains August 30th 2014

Being in the former USSR, I'm finding it difficult to avoid the vodka theme based traveling. I had every intention of heading straight to the Fan Mountains from Dushanbe, Tajikistan's capital, but while traveling in the share taxi to Sarvoda I was invited by my fellow passengers to their family's house in Aydin for a pre-wedding party (the wedding would take place the following weekend). I initially tried to politely refuse because I only had 2 days for the mountains, but when we got to Sarvoda kind of late in the afternoon I was asked again and accepted. From the moment I walked through the door last Saturday it was a Tajik feeding frenzy with piles of bread, fruit, yogurt, meat, and plov the ubiquitous Central Asian dish that I'd somehow not yet eaten during the ... read more
Iskander Kol
На Здоровья!
Unconscionable Amounts of Food

Asia » Tajikistan » Fan Mountains August 1st 2010

The Tajik cognac still has it's effect on me,still a bit groggy I forced myself out of bed to get ready for a big day, I start my 4 day trek in the Fan mountains but first I have to buy food in the bazaar, I took a minivan marshrustka to the bazaar, It took me awhile to figure out what to buy, what I need, I started at the fruit section and bought the delicious mini pears from my favorite stall, this shy girl wanted to know my name but she can't express it in English, finally after giving me my change she pointed to herself and announced her name, so then I get it, nice to meet you, Gil in her broken English, all the while the whole fruit section watching us charade, they ... read more
Alaudin pass and lakes
2nd Turursh
Garm lake

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