844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Svaneti and the Land of the Svans (Mestia, Georgia)

This was the first time I had significantly fallen behind on my journal so I decided to go with bullets and move on. This is a shame as each memory recalled from my extended sojourns is an individual treasure. Many times along the way I questioned the effort put into chronicling my trip and, truth be told, I probably spent as much time writing as I did traveling. I can say now, in hindsight, that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Because most of my journey was solo in nature there are so many memories that would have been lost forever had I not taken the time to write them down. If ever I have the opportunity to travel again it goes without saying that I will continue to recorded my experiences. Memories are my wealth. My silver. My gold. My platinum.

I often lament upon my failure to keep a journal on some of my previous trips and the thought of it fills me with a regret difficult to stomach. Emotions, experiences, chance encounters......gone forever because I simply could not take the time to commit my thoughts to paper. That, without a doubt, is an absolute tragedy and one that continues to haunt me.

July 29th, 2010 - For the first time in over a year and a half I've fallen behind with the bloggy blog. Not bad considering I've been on the move the whole time. I going to give myself a 'good game' (that would be a brisk pat on the ass) and keep on, keep on trucking.

I left Abkhazia and went back to Georgia. I wanted to spend more time in the 'khaz' but the language barrier, money issues (no ATMs, no credit cards), and a slight tingle of foreboding pointed me back in the direction of Georgia. Always heed the tingle.

Once I crossed the border back into the city of Zugdidi I hopped into a mini-bus and headed to Mestia in northwest Georgia located in the region of Svaneti (the land of the Svans). The landscape is breathtaking, the people friendly, and the history long and varied. My eight days there was time well spent. Instead of prattling on I am going to dazzle with bullets and pictures. Not my usual modus operandi but I am behind and a feeling a teensy bit lazy. Still, it'll be awesome:

- Six hour mini-bus ride scrunched between two fat Georgian men on a bone rattling dirt road. On the way drank delicious naturally carbonated water from a roadside spring.

-Settled at homestay run by a lovely woman named Nino. Learned that half the woman in Svaneti are named Nino.

-Met French dude named Vincent and teamed up for a bit of hiking. Engaged in heated political discussions about the nature of US involvement in world affairs. Enjoyed superb views. 

-Visited glacial 'lakes' that looked more like puddles. Vincent and I assumed we went the wrong way. Roamed hillside in search of quicker return route for shits and giggles. No luck.

-Hiked to cell phone tower on hilltop for breathtaking 360 degrees views of valley. Received ride from local Svan in Russian jeep. More heated political discussions. No progress on world peace. Vincent had the shits but no giggles.

-Hired car and driver with two Australians and a Chinese woman for another bone-rattling journey to the mountain village of Ushguli. Wandered streets. Frolicked among the hills. Ogled the signature Svan towers.

-Took rest day. Wandered the streets of Mestia. Recharged.

-Joined forces with France, Poland, and Germany for a hike to nearby glacier.  Caught ride with a Svanetian truck driver. Divided my time between staring at glacier and blond Polish woman. 

-Found story of the French woman in our group yelling, “Share the land!” to passing Israeli hikers to be rather amusing. Was even more amused when informed by same woman that the food in America has no taste.

-Climbed one of the numerous towers of Svaneti that stand century over village life. Scared the living poop out of myself by venturing onto the roof. 

-Went for horseback ride with German couple and blonde Polish woman. Looked utterly ridiculous on horse, like a dwarf trying to ride a Dachshund. Impressed everyone. Discovered Team Poland had boyfriend. Found solace in the arms (or saddle) of my horse.

-Returned to tower next day for more pictures. Felt like little girl for being scared after watching elderly Israeli tourists walk around on roof of tower without batting an eyelash. Grew a set of balls and stood up myself. 

-Left Mestia and headed to seaside resort city of Batumi. Chilled out. Walked on beach. Ate pork kabab. Decided I should go to Denmark.

-Went to Denmark.

Is it me or is this cow doing a hell of a dog impression?

Traditional Svan Tower

Batumi's beach

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Svaneti beats Swiss alps any day, no? These pics are gorgeous. Absolutely breathtaking. Wonder what the view is like in the winter since you went in the summer. Staring competitions for blond polish woman and cow are hilarious :)


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