Dienstag, 27 August 2019 09:45

Hiking from Mestia to Ushguli and beyond

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After a few days in Baku we took one of the local mini buses, marshrutka, and drove up into the mountains to Mestia. Next morning we started to hike one of the most famous hikes in Georgia from Mestia to Ushguli. Normaly it's a four day hike, but because of bad weather in two days and our level of fittnes, we decided to try to do the hike in two days. The combination of the first two days included two passes to cross and went along the mountain side with beautiful views. We arrived in Abishi at 2pm already and enjoyed a relaxed afternoon, sitting outside, looking at the mountains and talking to other hikers.

Because it was only a small village, we had all meals at the Guest House and couldn't leave as early as the days before. Around 9am we were finally back on the trek, but most people left at this time, so there were lots of hikers on the path. After a few kilometers we had to cross a river with a pretty strong current. You could pay to corss it on a horse, but we were too cheap. We crossed the river walking side by side and we made it. We kept walking up the hill to get away from the crowds. The higher we got the better you could see the big glacer, that was feeding this river. Also on this day we went over the first pass and chose an alternative route for the last part to get to Ushguli and had to climb a second pass as well, Karetta pass. It was not a clear path in the beginning and going further up in got pretty steep. But all the sweat was definitely worth it once we arrived on top. The few other hikers just left and we had the mountains just for ourselves. It was amazing. The way down wasn't as steep but pretty slippery in the beginning. Just before Ushguli we got on a dirt road and followed it into the village. We found our hostel and only five minutes after we arrived it started raining. We had two full days of hiking but it was amazing (you find all trek information and GPX files here: www.caucasus-trekking.com).

We spend the next day in Ushguli, because it was supposed to rain the whole day – it didn't rain the whole but a bit. Still, a day for relaxing was good and we met up with some other hikers we met along the way. One of them, Daniel, also joined us the next day to hike over the next pass to get to Chvelpi. We met up early in the morning, had some Khatchapuri (local cheese bread) for breakfast and lunch with us and started climbing. It was 1000m up and 2000m down for this hike and because we started super early we almost did all the climbing in the shadow of the mountains around us. The view from the top was amazing again, all over green mountan sides and even two little lakes. We followed the ridge and could enjoy the view for a bit. After a break we started to go down, it was a dirt road that slowly winded down and good for the knees. Just before 3pm we arrived at the road in the valley and hitch hiked into the next bigger village from where we took one of the mini buses to Kutaisi.

We spend the following day relaxing and walking through town. There were some nice churches and parks to see. In the evening, the owner of the hostel offered us some chacha (local drink) and so we also bought some drinks and had a fun night together playing cards. The next day we made our way back to Batumi and our amazing guest house (Avto's) there.

 

Two days later we took the ferry to cross the Black Sea, escape the heat in Turkey and get to Odessa, Ukraine.

 

See you on the other side, we're getting closer to home.

Jonas, Droni and Vroni

Read 611 times Last modified on Dienstag, 27 August 2019 10:13

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