This is still about Georgia, haven’t been to Colombia yet, so it refers to Snow. And by Snow, I mean frozen water, not John Snow, the GoT character who died in the last episode of Season 7.
Mountains are calling and I must go. After the first easy days, it was time to start to travel in style, and it all began with this pretty red bus that 4 times a week goes to Barisakho. Despite the color without the help of locals would be hard to find in the Didube marshrutka station. Didube is an interesting place that hosts about half of Georgian touts, though they are very few and quite low profile. Having to wait there is not a problem, as you can have a pint of beer for 1.5 lari (€0.56), very likely some local will buy you a second one.
I spent the first night in Barishako with a lovely lady who explained a big deal about the Orthodox Saints spread around her house, in Russian. Next day I hiked to Roshka and was intended to get to the 3 colored Abudelauri Lakes. Not even close, big fail. Shits loads of snow, sinking in every step with my backpack and dangerous falls into water creeks.
Back to Roshka and if possible try to find a guesthouse as I wouldn’t fancy to camp at -10. The tiny village was still empty as locals only come with their cattle after the snow melts and grass grows. I saw a girl in one house and went to ask. She asked what the hell was I doing there. Hey Miss, I am usually the one asking that question… on Sunday mornings 🙂 Turns out, it was the only guesthouse, but not yet open.
I was the first tourist of the season, yay! Apparently, you should go after mid-June. Otherwise, the lakes are frozen. She was lovely and told me I could stay with her and her parents. I had a great time with them, Georgian hospitality didn’t let me down. I end up staying a couple of days and going back with her to Tbilisi.
On my second day, now without the backpack, I made a 2nd aim for the lakes. Failed again after much snow fighting. Too risky to go alone. Still, the hike around was worth it and got close to the stunning Chaukhi range. Apparently, it was the snowiest year in a long time in the Caucasus. If I keep writing, expect more whining about the white shit, this time not about the price.
On my way back I saw 3 Giorgis hanging out. Every man in Georgia is named Giorgi, same as any woman is Nino. For the look of it, I had a guess of what was going on and what was gonna happen. Not a big surprise, they were not having craft beer and hummus.
As soon as they spotted me from the distance they signed me to join them. In Georgia you don’t look for chacha, chacha finds you. A session of heavy drinking, toasting, and cheerful singing-dancing followed. There is no drinking in Georgia without toasting first and they are good at it. At some point, they will ask you to propose a toast. Say “for Armenia”, they would love it.