Location: Mangystau, Kazakhstan, September 2015
Photo: Canon 5D mark3
Series >> 1 / 10
Title : The end of the plateau and a cairn
At the end of the 200m-high Ustyurt Plateau, the ground becomes steep chalk escarpment and leads to the bottom of the canyons. The surface of the escarpment is brittle and crumpy. Stones were piled to a cairn at the edge of the plateau, telling travelers risk of collapse.
Series >> 2 / 10
Title : saline desert of Ustyurt, Mangystau
At about 180km east of the state capital Aktau, our 4WD cars drove down to the bottom of the Ustyurt Plateau and kept going through wasteland, about ten meters above sea level, to the Tuzbair salt marsh. New roads, that would never been marked on the map, were marked on the dry desert covered with crystals of salt.
Series >> 3 / 10
Title : Sunset splendor at the Tuzbair salt marsh
West and North edges of the Tuzbair salt lake are surrounded by the steep white cliffs of the Ustyurt plateau. In the time around sunset, chalk cliffs and dried salt ground became dusk and then surrounded by multi-colored splendor.
Series >> 4 / 10
Title : Huge round rocks in the Naizatau valley
Naizatau is located about 80km southeast of the Tuzbair salt marsh. Huge round rocks, as tall as human beings, are scattered in the valley. They were uniquely formed by the disappearance of the ancient Tethys Ocean and consequent rise of the ground.
Series >> 5 / 10
Title : Wasteland with no trees blocking our view
The only way to drive to the top surface of the Ustyurt plateau from the bottom part is staggering the steep white chalk cliff by following fuzzy ruts unmarked on any maps. On the wasteland of saline desert, no tree was blocking our view.
Series >> 6 / 10
Title : Bozzhira, unexplored region of Mangystau
The landscape view of Bozzhira afar from the top of the cliff is extravagantly magnificent and people can’t help but get captivated by the chalk canyons and mountains. Those mountains consist from three zones; ‘Yurt’, a traditional residence of nomad, shaped mountain, trapezoid mountain ‘Castle’, and ‘Twin Towers’ mountain which has a narrow sightseeing platform.
Series >> 7 / 10
Title : ‘Twin Towers’ mountain and majestic landscapes of Bozzhira
If your guide knows the secret pathway up to the narrow sightseeing platform, you are such a fortunate traveler. You’ll get to see the majestic landscapes of Bozzhira by lying on the edge of the cliffs.
Series >> 8 / 10
Title : Mountain slopes are rounded like plump human body
When the sun declines, we walked down the slopes of the Twin Towers mountain. The rounded slopes were shedding warm light like blushed human skin. We were looking down the Mountain-Yurt, the symbol of Bozzhira, toward northwest.
Series >> 9 / 10
Title : Mountain-Yurt in sunset splendor, Bazzhira
On the final night in Mangystau, we camped near the Mountain-Yurt, the symbol of Bozzhira. The Bozzhira sky, surrounding the Yurt, was burning with sunset color, and then white chalk ground gradually became covered with rainbow color light.
Series >> 10 / 10
Title : Mountain Castle and travelers
It was such fortunate that we could see the fascinating chalky world. On the final day of our trip, Dr.A, our guide, and his loving daughter took us to the Mountain Castle which was shedding dazzling white luster. We felt language nor nationality could be no barrier between ourselves. In token of our deep gratitude for their warm hospitality, we jumped high and laughed together.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, dear Dr.A and your daughter.
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The end of the plateau and a cairn
Huge round rocks in the Naizatau valley
‘Twin Towers’ and majestic landscapes of Bozzhira
Mountain-Yurt in sunset splendor, Bazzhira
Saline desert of Ustyurt
Rock Mosque Shakpak-Ata
Bozzhira, unexplored region of Mangystau
Wasteland with no trees blocking our view, Magystau
Mountain slopes are rounded like plump human body
Sunset splendor at the Tuzbair salt marsh