GEORGIA - 300 USD (part 2)


Feelings of two days hitchhiking to Georgia from Ukraine described in part 1 evaporated with morning heat of Sakartvelo land. Now we are here in Georgia and new adventures just begin.

We woke up with the sun and it was so hot in a tent that we jumped off. Outside was a bit cloudy, but beautiful and awesome. Mountains just above the heads and and tiny road that goes to Telavi - capital of wine region. First car was emergency that looks like in 70s. They dropped us 5 km further from our night place and we caught a minibus to Akhmeta. There we bought some food in a local market (its cheaper to buy on a street market than in a shop) and had a rest time on a river bank watching how clouds passing by the mountains. 
To Telavi was around 25 km, to the sunset about 2 hours. Road is empty with cars only pigs and donkeys just right in the middle of our way. After one hour of walking we heard sound. That was a car that gave us a ride to Telavi. It was dark, constructions and mud everywhere. We asked about spot to put a tent, but they said there is no place, but you can try football field, and pointed for us a direction. There was no field and no football and no place to settled a tent. Tired we went for a last call to the shop, luckily we met there a granny that offered a free georgian room in here house with dinner and funny stories. That was first Caucassus hospitality for us.                

We slept on a separate beds. Early in the morning was rainy but we decided to walk around the town, buy a Georgian map for further movement and leave in a memory some Telavi landscapes. With last one was a bad situation. When we got to the streets  picture was like after second world war. We took only one picture (on your left), bought for 9 usd a map (you can get better maps for free in a tourist info centers almost everywhere in Georgia) said big thank you to our new Georgian granny and ran away from the city to castle Gremy. Its just 20 km away from Telavi. (pictures only on film)

Alazania valley is a most famous area in Georgia. In summer time here is a lot of watermelons and with beginning of autumn tourist flying here for wine tours and grapes. Here is a motherland of Georgian wine and we were on the road right in the middle of it. Perfect grape lines, hot sun and high mountains. In one village we stopped to buy watermelon (30 cents per kilo). They asked us where we are from? Ukraine was a magical word. They love ukrainians. In 5 minutes we were siting outside the shop eating free watermelon and listening to crazy village stories. I hoped its gonna be the funnies part but...

TATARO - man between Tina and Andrew. He showed up with a cup of CHACHA - self-made Georgian vodka from grape that kick you ass up to your mind. 60 degrees and after i swallowed a whole cup he disappeared. I couldn't breathe for a minutes but when Tataro came back with a 10 liters petrol can full of "chacha" i understood for today our journey is over and new Georgian hospitality begins. Half of the village came to drink with us it was a local party near the shop where we stopped to buy just watermelon and ended up with can full of "CHACHA"....

Usually you don't have any hang-overs in Georgia cuz of fresh air, natural self-made alcohol, a lot of food to eat and friendly atmosphere but if you do there is some advices 
1) Buy any water with gas (borjomi, narzan, etc.)
2) If you are brave jump into the mountain river 
3) Find a wellspring around (there are tons of it in Georgia, almost everywhere in a mountains, its a country of a natural health water)

 No hangover for me and Tina we on our way to Lagodekhi where we gonna climb waterfalls. We got a ride from Alex. He dropped us where the regular road ends and begins a path to waterfalls. He was almost ready to go with us cuz he never been here before, but work work work stopped him. Luckily we met soldiers that agreed to show us the way. 
Its a national park but you don't have to pay. You just need survive and get to NINOSKHEVI waterfall. The path loses in river and we following soldiers crossing wooden bridges, jumping off the stones, climbing trees and more more more. After 2 hours of extreme hiking (don't take your backpack, only water and cameras) we reached the NINOSKHEVI waterfall. 
 This is it. Almost 55 m high. There were nobody only Tina , Andrew and three army guys. Its easy to get under the waterfall but water is so cold that to stand in it is almost impossible.

Be ready that all your clothes gonna be so wet. If you dont have shower for a few days its a good option.
River is the only path that leads to NINOSKHEVI
Way back was faster, we had some lunch with army guys and return on the road. 
SIGNAKHI, TBILISI, GORI, BORJOMI and Bakuriani were waiting for TINA and ANDREW

SVANETI NOTES                    VARDZIA NOTES                GEORGIA - 300US part1

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