Qobustan

Qobustan Travel Blog

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These are the folks who gave us vodka, bread and chicken. Chris is obviously American.

Mountainous Gobustan, home of the famous Azeri cave drawings, the sonorous tambourine stone and a stone with an inscription written in Latin (also, the furthest east such an inscription has ever been found).  Sounds fun, right?  Well, I actually never did see any of that.  While the majority of the volunteers were in the museum or with the guide hearing an explanation of what went in there in centuries past, Chris, Brandy and I decided instead to go exploring ourselves. 

We didn’t find any cave drawings, but we did find a group of Azeri people having a picnic.  They invited us to a very nice lunch of fried chicken (his own recipe no less), bread and vodka.  For some reason they gave me a lot more vodka than Chris.  Since Brandy is a girl, she wasn't offered any vodka as it would have been impolite for her to drink any of it.

The ladder, a view from the top

Our new friends directed us to a ladder going up the face of a cliff.  The metal ladder looked a bit old and about a third of the way up my fear of heights kicked in.  I almost got down and went back, but Brandy talked me through it and I got to the top.  Wow. 

The trip up was easily worth it though.  The large plateau was sparsely vegetated but the wind was nice, it wasn’t too hot and you could see for miles.  We found our way to another side of the cliffs and sat for about a half hour looking out across the Caspian Sea and a vast and empty valley.  It was a very relaxing place. 

Soon it was time to go, and since I went up the ladder I had to go back down the ladder.  The fear was intensified by about four times as I went back down the rickety old metal ladder.

The sign says "Don't go up the ladder." Oops.
  Again, Brandy had to talk me down the ladder.   As we walked back down the hill we saw a warning which said “don’t climb the ladder.”

Haha, oops.


Still, if you are ever there, I would recommend the hike up the side of the mountain.  Even if you don’t use the ladder, there are plenty of places in the cliff face where you could easily get up and down if you were to have any climbing experience (which sadly I do not).  It is a beautiful view.  If you feel bad about not seeing the cave drawings, just realize that in every corner of Azerbaijan you can find a picture of them.

 

Afterwards, we all got into the busses and headed towards the mud volcanoes.

Amy with mud on her face
  There isn't much to say other than this was a very fun trip.  After leaving Qobustan and the cave drawings (or for us the crazy ladder), we headed towards an area that had 20 or so volcanoes spewing mud.  Now, don't think that just because they are volcanoes that they are necessarily hot.  The mud was actually quite cool to the touch. 

Other than the fact that everybody and everything needs to let gas out occasionally, I don't know any more about the geological processes that power these so called volcanoes.  The volcanoes themselves would be crater like pits on top of small hills.  The craters were full of mud and would periodically let out bubbles of gas of some sort.  At one point there were at least 50 peace corps volunteers on top of one of the larger hills waiting for the "big one."

I don't know if it ever came though because I was hanging out by a pool of water that was cool to the touch, but constantly bubbling.  Weird.

The trip was very enjoyable.

 

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These are the folks who gave us vo…
These are the folks who gave us v…
The ladder, a view from the top
The ladder, a view from the top
The sign says Dont go up the lad…
The sign says "Don't go up the la…
Amy with mud on her face
Amy with mud on her face
Mikah, showing me a finger of mud
Mikah, showing me a finger of mud
Josh
Josh
Marina
Marina
There the ladder is at the top of …
There the ladder is at the top of…
Chris coming down the ladder
Chris coming down the ladder
A mud volcano
A mud volcano
They are actually cool to the touch
They are actually cool to the touch
Evan, Nurana and Brandon from my g…
Evan, Nurana and Brandon from my …
They were all waiting for the big …
They were all waiting for the big…
Qobustan
photo by: Biedjee