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| Nobody knows how many historical secrets and mysteries are hidden in the Mangystau land. Not for nothing it is compared to Conan Doyle's "Lost World". Even the team of Cousteau could not resist the temptations, and conducted a series of diving in the waters of the Caspian Sea. Do not miss the chance - touch the riddles of the sunny land!
Route: Aktau-Zhanaosen-Aktau (Mangystau Region, Kazakhstan)
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1. Aktau - Bozzhira
Departure from Aktau at 08:00. Driving about 150 km to Zhanaozen. Passing Zhanaozen, our way will run along the highway under construction, to the upper panoramic points of Bozzhira canyon. On arrival at one of the points - lunch and photo session.
Bozzhira is the site of the «chink» (border) of the Ustyurt plateau, where mother-nature gave complete freedom to its imagination, creating an unearthly landscape in white tones. A small Bozzhira valley is surrounded on three sides by an amphitheater of natural fads. Here everything is white: canyons, peaks, mountain-towers, mountains-castles, mountains-yurts. The Bozzhira remnant mountains are like chameleons, they change their appearance when you go round them. Whimsical remnants as silent guards peer into the misty far away, keeping the peace of the majestic symbol of Mangystau - a giant stone yurt. Its only owner is a lonely wind, singing a melancholy song of the steppe to the boundless skies.
After viewing the canyon from above and observation of the traps for mountain goats, built by ancient people who once inhabited this area, we go down to the valley of Bozzhira. Choosing the place for overnight, setting a camp, dinner. Overnight in the tent camp.
Day 2. Bozzhira - Tuiesu - Zhanaozen
Breakfast and dissasemling of the camp. Departure to Tuiesu sandy massif.
Tuiesu sandy massif has a section of not overgrown sands with combed dunes, where a sultry wind in the branches of rare saxaul (haloxylon) sings its melancholy songs. Sands are many faced. They amaze with its purity and unique novelty. In the afternoon, the sands seem uninhabitable, only the eared roundheads, the local lizards, like frightened birds, slip out from underfoot. In the early morning the sands are covered with a carpet of unusual patterns left by the paws of night creatures. If you switch on a flashlight at eye level in the dark, bright white lights can appear in the beam. These splendours belong to the eyes of a surprisingly beautiful and peaceful lizard - wonder geckos.
Walk along the sandy massif. Dinner. Then move to the city of Zhanaozen.
The wealth of Mangystau was in the zone of interest of many peoples from ancient times. The wealths that had been discovered by the Russian scientists who participated in a small expeditions only confirmed the guesses about treasures of the Mangystau soil. Historical events happened here at different times did not allow us to absorb the wealth of the peninsula for a long time. Only in the fifties of the 20-th century geologists began exploration of the peninsula. With the full support of the government, steps in the development of the region were taken. In the early sixties a settlement of geologists was formed in Zhanaozen, and planned research and reconnaissance work began. The selfless work of the researchers of the peninsula was not vain, sources of oil and gas were discovered in Zhanaozen. In 1964 the construction of the city of oil workers began. Today about 120 thousand people live in Zhanaozen, the city's population grows by about 3-4 thousand people every year, due to the active influx of people.
Upon arrival to the city, accommodation at the hotel, dinner, overnight at the hotel.
Day 3. Zhanaozen - Tokmak Cape - Karagiye Valley - Aktau
Breakfast in the hotel. Departure to the place Kenderli, where in the future it is planned to build a sea resort, the first in Kazakhstan. Not far from Kenderli there is a very mysterious place - Tokmak Cape.
Tokmak Cape - barely investigated place, there is not much information about it, but what is known is astonishing. Each archaeological expedition makes a new and new unique discovery, which, in turn, only puzzles the scientific world more and more.
Take at least two strange structures in the form of huge stone ships, discovered by scientists on the coast of the cape. How could a simple inhabitant not gasp with the thought: "Here it is, there was a mysterious Atlantis. "The age of the stone finds is supposedly 1 millennium BC. That's what the ship looked like when scientists discovered it. "The nose of the ship will turn into the sea. The contour is laid out of vertically placed unprocessed stone stoves up to 50 centimeters high. The length of the ship is about 14 meters, the greatest width is 4 meters. On the starboard side there is an entrance about 2 meters wide." The huge stone ship, according to scientists, served as a staple for the manufacture of ancient ships. "In ancient times, Amu Darya River flowed into the Caspian Sea near the Tokmak Cape. Ships carried cargo from the Azov Sea through Don River to Volga and Caspian Sea. Then, the cargoes on the wagons were sent to Aral Sea and more or less along the rivers of Syr Darya and Amu Darya. Perhaps there was another option: the ships could cross the Caspian Sea directly and reload goods to one of the directions of the Great Silk Road. The economic benefits are obvious here. In this place, on the peninsula of Mangystau, it is possible that these ships were manufactured or repaired before shipment."
On the desert lands of Tokmak Cape another archaeological expedition not so long ago discovered and explored the burial of the era of the Eneolithic. Millennia ago people lived here and their settlements yet to be investigated. The age of the tomb is counted as thousands years old, this is the end of the fourth millennium BC - a very important epoch for the history of Kazakhstan and the nomadic civilization. The find was even more valuable and unique due to the fact that the discovered cemetery was destroyed as a result of natural factors and was not looted, the main part of the monument reached untouched today, which allowed scientists to learn a lot about the funeral customs of those remote times.
Walk around the cape. Sightseeing at ancient burial places and settlements. Coffee break, then move to the Karagiye valley near the village of Eralievo.
According to one version, Karagiye translates as "Black jaws". The pit basin is huge. The deepest mark of Karagiye is in the southern part and it is -132 m below the level of the world ocean level, which gives it the status of one of the deepest in the world. At this point the bottom of the depression is covered by an extensive salt marsh called Batyr (a hero). There are several hypotheses about how this valley was formed. For one of them – as the result of a grandiose processes of wind erosion, according to the other – a colossal seismic failure. More likely, the origin of all Mangystau trenches is related to the erosion of rocky and clayey rocks by giant waves of the retreating ancient Caspian.
Enjoying the panorama of the valley from one of the precipices. Lunch overlooking the hollow. Then move to the lowest point of the hollow. Return to Aktau city.