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Uzbekistan: "Chimgan Mountains"

Chimgan Tashkent Uzbekistan

June 11, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

In addition to “Tip the Stew,” * my friend Elias offered me a second piece of advice: “In the early morning, drive to the Chimgan area.” The first piece of advice worked well, so when I returned to Tashkent from Nukus, I also followed the second.

The Chimgan area is about an hour’s drive northeast of Tashkent . The mountains are not so high, but in the distance there are a few rugged snow-capped peaks. And in this eastern province of Uzbekistan , everything is green. Green grass, green trees, green farmlands, green mountain sides.

For X-gamers there’s trekking, rafting, kayaking and heli-skiing. The main town sits on the Chorvoq Reservoir that offers more mellow pursuits as fishing, swimming and canoing. Me? I’m just here for the morning …and for a fresh fish lunch at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the mirror-surfaced reservoir – a lovely finale to an adventurous journey.

“Adventurous?” That’s what I thought before I came here. But now, after three weeks in Uzbekistan I am thinking “Different.” It’s a different world. Culture, language, dress, food and the sights are different. Yet the roads are good, the trains run on time, and the hotels are modern. And everything is negotiable.

I am also thinking “Contrasts.” I love the contrasts. The green of the Chimgan mountains and the gold of the Kara Kum desert. The blue of the minarets and the tan of the fortresses. The sweet of the apricots and the piquant of the shashlik.

Finally, I am thinking “Universal.” Despite their difficult history, ancient and modern, the women and the men and all the children of Uzbekistan greet me with a smile.

Each day has been a good day.

Jan

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