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Traces of the past: Sufi pilgrimage sites on the Caspian Sea and ship cemetery in Aralsk (Kazakhstan)

 

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Traces of the past: Sufi pilgrimage sites on the Caspian Sea and ship cemetery in Aralsk

Mangyshlak, the desert peninsula on the Kazakh east bank of the Caspian Sea. When driving across the almost deserted country, you only come across camels and turtles. The sea laps a landscape of chalk cliffs and canyons, desert dunes and vast plains.

The cultures and religions crossed on Mangyshlak. Settled Turkmens and nomadic Kazakhs settled on the peninsula and left their mark. In the sandstone massifs of the Ustyurt plateau, with the help of local people, remains of caravanserai from the time of the Silk Road and meditation caves of the Sufis from the Middle Ages can be found. These old places of prayer are now visited by pilgrims, in whose guest houses you can always find a roof over your head as well as bread and tea. One learns to appreciate the value of such elementary livelihoods more and more every day in the almost waterless desert.

This tour is for explorers and purists. We drive off-road vehicles on adventurous slopes. Mangyshlak has not yet been developed for tourism; there are no hotels or hostels in the few villages. That is why we will spend the night in tents. Our trip is somewhat similar to the nomadic hikes.

1 day Nur-Sultan — Aralsk

Flight Nur-Sultan- Kyzylorda, train to Aralsk. Transfer / accommodation with the guest family.

2 day Aralsk

Breakfast. Continue to the Karasandyk plateau, ship remains, hot spring, disappeared Aqespe village in sand dunes.

Trip to the village of Tastubek (to see the daily life of the fishing families), lunch in the fisherman’s house; Drive to Zhalanash village (walk in the village, photo camels, horses),

Return to Aral through the former seabed;

3 day Aralsk: Breakfast Excursion to Kokaral Dam, World Bank project site, on the way to Kamystybas Lake, Bugun Village. Lunch.

4 day Breakfast 0730 Transfer to the train station 0809 Train Aralsk-Aktau.0610 Arrival in Aktau, transfer to the hotel

5 days Aktau — Panorama platform on Depression Karagie (Sauttyu) — Zhanaozen — Necropolis Sоhpan ata — Salt Marsh Zhamanaulie (210 km). Departure from Aktau. The deepest hollow in the world Karagie (- 132 meters below the Baltic Sea) is located 30 km from the city. Wide panorama on the hollow caravan in the Sautty area. A stop to take pictures. Here rocky break has radical thermal springs, where you can swim, we continue to the city of Zhanaozen. Transfer to the Shopan-ata necropolis (45 km asphalt + 30 km grader road). The necropolis is known as the largest Mangistau region with an underground mosque (tea break with pilgrims).Transfer to the salt marsh (salty lake) Zhamanaulie. A short walk on the bottom of the hollow. Camp placement. Dinner. Overnight in the tents.

6 days. Shor Zhamanaulie — Bokty mountain — Kamysty valley — chalk columns Baysary — Boszhira valley (100 km).Breakfast. Mount Bokty, looks like a pyramid. The road continues along the picturesque chalk ledge Kamysty. Lunch on the way. A natural pillar in Baysary chalk layer. Transfer to the valley of Boszhira and the valley, where many high chalk mountains were kept. A lunar landscape. Small cars run along the chalk breaks on the Ustyrt plateau. Camp placement.The walk between mountains and chalk columns with the remains of an oceanic life. Dinner. Overnight in the tents.

7 days.Boszhira valley — panoramic mountain Boszhira — Naysatau (60 km).Breakfast. Transfer to the Boszhira mountain. Visit three picturesque panoramic platforms. Taking photos. Camp placement. Walk to the Naysatau mountain. Visit old hunting lodges. Dinner. Overnight in the tents.

8 days.Naysatau Mountain — Panorama Kyzylkup — Shopan ata Necropolis — Zhanaozen — Aktau (250 km).Breakfast. Hiking in the area. The walk does not require special equipment and preparation. Here we can see mountain goats — mufflons. Lunch on the way. Transfer to the panoramic platform Kyzylkup. Taking photos. Return to the city of Aktau through the city of Zhanaozen (grader road 60 km, asphalt 190 km).Return to Aktau and evening flight to Nur-Sultan.

Aktau — Zana-Ozen — 150 km

Zhana-Ozen — Shopan-ata Necropolis — 85 km

Shopan-ata Necropolis — Sors Zhamanaulie — 15 km

Sor Zhamanaulie — Bokty Mountain — 30 km

Bokty mountain valley Boszhira — 70 km

Valle Boszhira — Mount Naysatau — 60 km

Naysatau Mountain — Panorama Kyzylkup — 25 km

Panorama Kyzylkup — Shopan-ata Necropolis — 50 km

Shopan-ata Necropolis — Aktau — 235 km.

Transfers: Jeeps Toyota, Nissan Patrol. Motor vehicles UAZ. The route concerns the category extreme (high heat, chalk dust), residing in tents

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Motysheva Anara Motysheva Anara
director
mob.: +7 777 225 4037
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Skype: Anara. Motysheva

Mukasheva Elmira Mukasheva Elmira
tourism supervisor
mob.: +7 701 357 6171
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skype: akzholt
language: english

Gabdulina Assiya Gabdulina Assiya
senior manager
моб.: +7 777 235 3979
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language: German

Arystankulova Aida Arystankulova Aida
ticket agent
mob.: +7 777 398 0677
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Skype: Arystankulova
language: french

Motysheva Shynara
Accountant
mob.: +7 701 715 00 12
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Starodumova Natalya Starodumova Natalya
outgoing manager
tel.:+7 272 3560377
mob.: +7 707 526 7686
e-mail:
ICQ: 402197954
language: english