Walking up to Ushba Glacier

Awake at 6am i get out of bed and pack my bag. I hear people in the kitchen downstairs, so i go there and find the oven/stove heating up the entire room. Everybody seems awake, except the boys. Omar suggest me to sit on the little wooden bench next to the stove. And while i drink the tea he just gave me i watch his wife make the bread.

[Better photo from my other camera]

After the bread is made they show me to the living room where breakfast is served

After breakfast i pay Omar, who invites me to stay the next night too. I give him 100 Lari, but i only want to pay for one night. This gives some confusion, handsignals help. He tried to make me comit to it, but i want to try another guesthouse tonight. He says: “Omar doma dobro da?”. In a last effort to concince me to come back tonight. And i say; yes, your house is very nice and i enjoyed my stay. I pack my lunch they prepared for me, put my pack on my back, say good bye and start walking towards the  start of the trail, which is a bridge over a turbulent mountain river. But before i get there i take a wrong turn and end up on a little path through some trees. I decided to walk back and find the bridge.

The first part is fairly flat, but i am slightly concerned about my heavy pack. I have everything in here from the coming 7 days. Not the smartest of decisions. But i managed.

Unfortunately i missed the path at one point and went the wrong way. I wasnt alone and talked to some of them. I decided to cut through some bushes and a stream and found the path again. Signaling the other people down a little lower they followed me and were on the right track again. But a little later i completely missed a trail marker and together with the other people (4 Polish tourists) we went a very wrong way. Up very steep, it was more like rock climbing than hiking. But still we continued. Eventually we go at a nice viewpoint where we saw Ushba glacier and the waterfall plateau.

Going down was equally challenging. And having packed too much food, too little water, this being my first hike in over a year and it was a lot harder than i anticipated i ran out of water half way down. With the sun burning my skin and my mouth dry i continued down. And only on the last part that was more flat i felt confident to take a break, to not conpletely break down.

My tshirt marbled with white stripes of salt from my sweat i drank the last bit of liquid i had with me; a few sips of cola and a few of cream lemonade. This and the stream of clear cold water i found later on helped me through. At the stream i clearer my face of salty sweat and cooled my head. It was such an amazing feeling!

After having walked to the beginning of tge trail the first guesthouse was actually a hotel. This was full but the family running it also operated a smaller guesthouse a 3 minute walk away. The view from the second floor, where my room was, was super nice. And the bed was big and soft.

Sitting there, recovering from what i just did, two Dutch guys came up too. Floris and Jan-Willem. We talked a bit and went to dinner and drank some beer together at the hotel. It was a very pleasant evening. The shower, food, good company and beer certainly helped. But feeling soar from the hike/climb i went to bed early, not sure if i would go on the next hike tomorrow.

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