Thursday, June 7, 2012


Road to Kazbegi. Georgia.

TLG offered an excursion (free!) to Kazbegi, and Sandy and I jumped on that offer.

We and 20 or so other TLGers met at the Radisson Blu in Tbilisi and we took off in the TLG minibus. It was nice to reconnect with some interesting colleagues I'd only met once or twice before and also to meet some new folks. It was another opportunity to appreciate the originality of the people who come to Georgia to teach.

I'll skip over the side trip to a certain historic church (zzzzzz) and go to the road to Kazbegi, now reverted to its original name Stepantsminda, which means St. Stephen's Mountain.

There is a village named Kazbegi and a mountain named Kazbegi (well, Stepantsminda). But what many souls climb is the mountain that has the church on top, which is what our little group did.

Kazbegi, Georgia.

Well, I climbed halfway up.

The good thing was that at my slower pace, I had the pleasure of a solo hike walking as fast or as slow as I wished. It was nice.

Kazbegi, Georgia.

At one point, I was reminded of my hike in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia  - not because the scenery was all that similar, but there was something about the lay of the land. Made me think of that battle of the bulls in a pasture far below.

Kazbegi, Georgia.

There were fairly long stretches where I was entirely alone. Other times, I intersected with other hikers coming at the mountain from different angles.

Kazbegi, Georgia.

On my way back down, I spied a shepherd and his flock in the woods.

Kazbegi, Georgia.

I attempted a wilderpee in a pretty forest copse, only to be foiled by oncoming hikers. So I scrambled myself together and took a photo instead.

Kazbegi, Georgia.

 My favorite part of coming back down - the dancing Georgian!

And full slide show of Kazbegi photos here:

Kazbegi, Caucasus Georgia

So I eventually made my way back to the village, in search of a toilet. Walked across the main drag to a cafe, and through the window, I saw a movement. It was Walter and Tom, two of the excursion mates, waving to me. Wah!? How was this possible? I knew from Sandy's telephone report that the rest of the group were still atop the church mountain, so ... did these guys not do the climb or what?

No! They had slid/run down the mountain, via one of the straight-shot paths, in about 15 minutes! Incredible. They were each drinking a beer and awaiting their order of khinkali.

The rest of the group didn't arrive til about 45 minutes later.

Sleepy ride home.


Mary said...

Hey there woman. So what was the weather like in Kazbegi when you went? Warm, chilly? I'm going this weekend for an overnight, need to pack.

Love the blog as always!

Mzuri said...

Thanks, Mary!

The weather was so pleasant. YMMV, but you might take a sweatshirt with you for the evening and early morning. Otherwise, it was so pleasantly warm-cool. 70s, let's say.