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A hike to the Jisev valley

 

 

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.

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

Lower Jisev lake

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

A welcome break for tea by the bustling river

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

... and on up to the entrance to the village and the first homestay.

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

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.

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

The idyllic centre of the village

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

... 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).

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

The hike continues on up to the upper lake - the river is peaceful here, a magical turquoise colour.

pamirs trekking jisev bartang

pamirs trekking jisev bartang parii obi water fairy mavzuna

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).

pamirs trekking jisev bartang carving door

pamirs trekking jisev bartang music

Back at your homestay you will be welcomed with music and dancing.

 


All photographs (c) Robert Middleton


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