Thursday 25 May 2023
Highlights: Nurata Holy Springs, Nurata Fortress Ruins of of Alexander the Great, Aydar Lake, Kyzylkum Desert experience, dancing under the stars
Today we set off out of the historic city of Samarkand and into semi desert and full deserts of Uzbekistan. Leaving at 8.30 am we said one last goodbye to Registan Square before a 3.5 hour drive to Nurata.
This city is is famous for its hot springs that supply water to the local town and are said to be Holy Springs that provide healing for those that consume or bath in them.
The springs did allow anicent outposts to be setup and it is believe that the small ruined fortress in the area is the Fortress Ruins of Alexander the Great. This would make sense as there was fresh water available and his army was in this area when it was believe to be constructed. It was a very small hike up to what remains.
It was then another 2 hour bumpy and slow drive to Aydar Lake which is located in the Kyzylkum Desert. The Lake covers covers 4,000 square kilometres and is salt water. I walked into the Lake but only ankle deep while we relaxed on the coast for an hour.
Our last stop wasn’t that far away at the Aydar Kŭl (Yurt) Camp. This Yurt stay was different the Song Kul Yurt stay on Day 13 of this trip (see here) which was nearby mountains and was on green fields, this was in the desert.
This stay allow us to entire sunset over the harsh but beautiful landscape.
And after dinner we went out under the stars and listened to locals playing music and singing by a fire and eventually we are got up and danced a little. Our Tour Leader Rustam also supplied a bit of vodka that might have helped warm people up a little!