Vodka, wine and the mountains

TbilisiAh… Georgia, sweet Georgia… You make me so drunk!!

The last week and a half I have spent in Tbilisi, the charming capital of this country, and the mountains…

In Tbilisi I met some great people at Irena’s Home stay, both travellers and the family and friends of the family. This lead to some good parties and lots of consummation of vodka! Of course I also looked at some sites; I strolled around the town, took daytrips to Mtskheta their religious capital, Davit Gareja an old monastic sight on the border with Azerbaijan and took a dip in Tbilisi Sea a reservoir just outside the capital. But admittedly I spend much of my time tending my frequent hangovers in bed at the home stay…

After a week of this I left to the Caucasus together with Alex a Belgium guy I had met at Irena’s Homestay. Both of us wanted to give our liver a rest and breath the fresh air of the mountains. We were in luck as the weather was good. The first day we hiked up to the Holy Trinity church and Gergeti Glacier which comes down from Mt. Kazbek. Feeling invigorated we decided to Tbilisimake a longer hike to Shatili which is in the next valley… I had taken my big backpack with me plus my small one which is still big and Alex had just taken his small one… We had no tent, very little food and no map except for one hand drawn by a guide we had met on our way to the glacier. But this didn’t daunt us… Neither did the warnings that it was impossible to do in the two days we had decided on! Who are they to know what our superhuman capabilities are! So here go two ‘experienced’ mountaineers from the lowest countries on this planet ignoring everybody‚Äôs advice, ill equipped and without any maps, but in high spirits… The first part went fine, then came the hard part… Finding the actual pass (yes we had to cross over some mountains of course…), even with the excellent directions (turn left at the lakes, but if you can’t find the lakes then what?) we got lost… We decided to scramble up a mountain on our hands and feet, though something told me that this couldn’t be the pass… Reaching the top we had good views but no way Tbilisidown the other side… So we walked along the ridge till we found a way to get down and scrambled down the pathless valley on the other side till it got dark and we could do no more… Luck would have it that we had been given a tent on our way up by some very friendly Georgian mountaineers (this was before we got lost), so we put up the tent on the first available spot, a rocky ridge! After a rather sleepless night on the rocks with the tent sliding ever further towards a little stream we awoke… After another gruelling six hours we met some other hikers who told we where but two hours away from… where we had started! My feet full of blisters (I decided to break in my hiking boots on this little adventure) and my back broken… But at least I think we were the first to try that route!

Anyway now I am back in Tbilisi where I will tend my feet for a couple of days before going to Armenia!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *