The Svaneti

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September 11th 2016
Published: September 11th 2016
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So here we are in Mestia, in the mysterious Svaneti, high up among the snow topped mountains and strange stone Svan tower houses.its very beautiful and unexpectedly hot.

Getting here was quite an excitement as we flew up in a mini sized plane, seating 12.passengers and 2 pilots, courtesy of Vanilla Sky airline. We first travelled from Central Tbilisi (outside Macdonalds-where else?) picked up with the rest of the passengers by a Mercedes Sprinter van, to a mini aerodrome 25 Kms from the city. There we hung about some time till the police helicopter had descended, checked us out and taken off again. Then we crammed into a twin propellered plane and off we flew , always low enough to see the land below, which changed from urban scape to wonderful green valleys surrounded by deep blue tree-covered hills, beyond which were ice and snow caps of mountain peaks, emerging from time to time through puffs of white cloud, I did feel a little apprehensive, but then it all seemed so safe and well managed... I relaxed. And we will do the same tomorrow to travel to Kutaisi, our last overnight stop before flying home to Gatwick.

We landed quite smoothly at the mini airport here which is really a work under construction. A taxi drove us into town along the half constructed, pothole swerving road, avoiding the stray skeletal cow ambling along. Cows -and their excrement- turn out to be quite a feature of the streets in the town. Rollover complaints about dog poo! Pigs with troops of adorable piglets and horses and foals have also been spotted. This is rural Georgia. So beautiful.

Yesterday we went on the toughest steepest walk I've been on ever I think, almost vertically uphill, through streams and up shale covered paths. My legs turned to jelly splodges and I melted away in the heat. I think it was worth it for the gorgeous views!

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