An Irishman, Englishman and an American woman decide to go on a hike. Each has been in Georgia for at least 4 months. This is the “plan” they came up with: get on a marshutka heading out of town towards the mountains, get off in some village in the mountains, and start walking in the mountains. This is how it panned out.

Sunday morning I met the Irishman at The McDonalds, we got some lobiani and water at the bazaar and met our English friend. We stood around an arbitrary spot until a marshutka whose sign had names of villages we have never heard of on it drove by and was driving in the general direction we wanted to go. We drove for about an hour and ended up no closer to the mountains, but definitely in a village. So, we decided today’s hike would be a village wander rather than risk staying on a marshutka too long. (the risk being getting too far away to be able to catch a ride back to Kutaisi.)

Once in the village we picked the muddiest road we could find and wandered until it ended a few miles later in a field. During this time we passed some cows and maybe two people. It was wonderfully quiet, except for our conversation of course. Not wanting to turn around, we moseyed into the field. A few minutes into the snowy expanse we heard an eerie humming, but could not see its source. Eventually a person came into view on the ridge behind us. He seemed to follow us a bit and then just turned around and walked away. Who knows.

In the distance were some pylons, so we walked towards those hoping for a road to take us towards Kutaisi. The road we came across was deserted, pot-holed (worse than usual in Georgia, which is saying A LOT), bleak and a deep hum was audible. Needless to say it gave off a post-apocalyptic vibe. As we continued to walk we could tell the hum was coming from what would anywhere else be an abandoned factory. All windows were broken. Everything was rusting and no people are cars were about the place, but it was humming.

Before we reached the factory grounds, the road split off back towards Kutaisi. It was about three and we decided it was time to start heading back. This road was decently paved and eventually ran into what might be considered a highway that ran through a village. Here we saw cows fighting, cows being herded, and cows just chewing the mud- er I mean cud. There were some absolutely beautiful houses in the village. Unfortunately, they are usually not in the best repair. One of the two floors usually doesn’t have windows.

Eventually we came across the spot where the marshutka had dropped us off and our journey began. Lucky for us, the same marshutka had just pulled up to go to Kutaisi. Three muddy, random hours later we were back in loud, busy Kutaisi. It really was unplanned, but a nice little escape. Next time we are planning on going to Gelati. It is beautiful, actually in the mountains, and there is supposedly hiking there.

A few photos from the hike.

Advertisements