The hike to Jisev (also written Geisev) begins on the river Bartang just beyond Bhagoo
village, across one of the bridges rebuilt by FOCUS. The hike is mostly gently
uphill, for about 8km to the upper of three lakes. The first houses in Jisev
are reached after about 5km. In summer it is better to start the hike as early as
possible to avoid the midday sun - this means leaving Khorog around 7h00. The
abundant vegetation, the gnarled trees, the lakes and the ever-changing river -
sometimes frothing with energy, sometimes limpid and blue - create a very special
peaceful atmosphere, ideal for a short break without too much physical effort.
Lower Jisev lake
A welcome break for tea by the bustling river
... and on up to the entrance to the village and the first homestay.
Several of the homestays have been equipped with solar water heaters and showers
designed by the local NGO Tajik Seeds - a fine example of simple and appropriate technology.
The idyllic centre of the village
... and more homestays near the middle lake - there are vitamin-laden
berries en route (but some are better for healing open wounds - check with
the local people before eating them).
The hike continues on up to the upper lake - the river is peaceful here,
a magical turquoise colour.
At the upper lake, if you are lucky, you may see a sure-footed mountain goat
change into a beautiful Parii Obi (Pamiri water fairy).
Back at your homestay you will be welcomed with music and dancing.