Trip to Georgia 2016

Sep 18, 2016

I suppose if you are waiting for any post it probably would be the second one, about my bike trip. However due to some time issues I will start with another story which is due right now (bike trip is already finished, but I have to collect all the data).

So it is happening. I have no idea why it took me so much time to go to Georgia, but finally I am going there today. Needles to say, I have quite big expectations after everything I read while checking what I can do there. It seems like a perfect mix so far: great mountains with awesome possibilities to hike and climb on any difficulty levels; friendly and welcoming people with unique traditions and amazing food and wine. It also seems quite affordable which is always a good thing.

I wanted to write about some goals and what I would like to get from this trip. However it seems to me like a wrong thing to do. I don't want to build hype but instead just go there as a 'tabula rasa' and absorb everything the place has to offer. Nonetheless I do have a brief idea where to go and what to do there. It mostly focuses on discovering the beautiful mountains of Caucasus. Interestingly there is not that much of information about them in the internet as one might imagine. So far I've found one good source in English - Trekking in Caucasus run by Jozef from Slovakia with various contributions from trekkers around the world. There are some good descriptions of many hiking routes with links to Wikiloc from where you can download gps tracks (remember - GaiaGPS :) or in fact any other GPS device) for easier orientation in terrain. This was my main source of hiking information, surprisingly the rest I found on mostly polish websites. Information about climbing peaks can be found on Summitpost, however it is not very detailed. On some polish forum I've got a scan of a free Georgian tourist booklet on climbing peaks in the region which is surprisingly detailed to the point it even describes each pitch of some routes to the peaks.

With all these information I have a general idea of what to do. Besides visiting Tbilisi and a couple of other towns I will most likely concentrate on the mountains and surroundings. I plan to visit two regions: Kazbegi surrounding mount Kazbek - the highest peak completely in Georgia and the 3rd highest in the country - and Svaneti where the heart of the Caucasus lies with its deep valleys, snowy peaks and small medieval villages. I also have some humble climbing goals as well on some easy mountains, but I will share them once I'm back. Hopefully there is no desert in the country so I won't get lost ;) Most likely some plans will change, so it's better not get to attached to them!

Kazbegi location

Svaneti location

For those who want to check where exactly am I, you can check it here: I will describe this tool in some later post. TL;DR - very useful in remote locations without phone coverage.

The flight is very soon, so I will better start packing!

მალე გნახავ!