Svaneti - Georgia
Panoramic view from THE CROSS, on the hill above Mestia on my first day in the region of Svaneti
Towers in and around Mestia. Slightly different in design from those in Tusheti but same thing. Georgians have a history of fighting. Neighbours, clans, the Russians. The towers were used to store valuable possessions and a safe home when under attack.The entrance was always around 4 meters above ground.
Autumn arrived after a week there and with luck, a Malaysian guy who was volunteering decided it was time to leave and I wangled his job. Just serving breakfast and dinner in my guest house in exchange for free bed and food. Not a bad deal cos even though the guest house was pretty busy, Initially I was just cruising. I saved my self a tidy sum of 18 US$ a day. but Nino was a bit of a slave driver. She had no idea of the concept of a few hours in exchange for board. I'd here my name being called, like a summons. Light the fire, tea and coffee, throughout the day. The only way was to go out hiking. The tiny village of Eli (photo below), where no tourists are going, cos its a long hike and there is no transport.
Autumn was a short lived affair... snow levels dropped... and despite Ninos business mind working 24/7, I was kinnda enjoying my time. Some nice guests, a change of outlook. A new work mate from Ireland who taught English in Bishkek. We'd drink with the guests, sit around, and bitch about our boss and I'd squeeze in a hike or two.
Another hike to the Chaladi Glacier. Looks so different every time I come here. Just love the autumn colours. After the glacier hike, I did just one more hike, to THE CROSS and after that daily rain was an issue. Heavy cold mountain rain. I applied for a visa to go to Abkhazia and waited for the clearance visa to come thru.
Squeezing in a last hike. The snow level stayed high.