A national treasure leading tourists for more than 20 years, Brownbook follows Niyozkul Nematov up into these historic peaks
Niyozkul Nematov is Tajikistans trekking guru, as one online travel site puts it, and something of a national treasure.
Eager to share tales and legends about his beloved Fann mountains, Nematov has been leading tours for more than 20 years with visitors often staying at his guesthouse, run by his wife Shoista.
Legend has it that at midnight under a full moon Bucephalus comes out of Iskanderkul Lake to graze at its grassy shores, he says. The glacial lake which takes its name from Alexander the Great and is thought to be where the late conquerors horse, Bucephalus, drowned during battle is the jewel of the this central Asian mountain range.
When a full moon illuminates it, locals can hear the horse neighing across all districts of the mountains, Nematov says.
When he isnt leading tours, the mountaineer can be found at his sons home in the capital Dushanbe, where he spends his days researching folklore about the mountains and the history of Central Asia material that he will later use to impress visitors.
But now, as the snows melt and the rain turns the juniper forests back to green, Nematov returns to his home in Panjakent to continue business.