Waking up later than the dutch guys i pack my bag and stuff in the breakfast the guesthouse gave me last evening that was included with the dinner. To pay i walk up to the hotel and start my journey. I felt strong enough and packed more water and less food. This was going to be a great hike!
Walking past Omar his house i greet his wife and she comes out through the garden gate to point me in the right direction.
Almost at the abandoned village of Guli i encounter a river without a bridge. This is where i meet Kenzo, from Japan (i learn this later, higher up on the mountain) who appears out of thin air after i looked for a bridge a little further up stream and after putting on my gaiters. I think i scared him a little when he suddenly stood next to me after i got up and almost screamed hello!
I wade through the water, but end up with wet feet anyway. I decide to keep my gaiters on. And watch as Kenzo looks for another way to cross but eventually decides to take off his boots and socks and wade through as well. Probably the smarter decision. And from this point on we pretty much walk together. The next photo looks down from Guli village on to the valley. You can see Kenzo standing down in the field.
Looking down in to the valley towards Mazeri. You can also see my boots took quite a beating yesterday snd the soles are coming loose…
But i wasnt at the top of the Guli Pass yet! Another 15 minutes of steep incline hiking. On my way i met a Czech guy and we exchanged some words and a laugh passing bye. Finslly at the top i was so happy to be ther! It was a great moment! there were two french guys having their lunch there too and a guide with a four person group just came up as i was talking to the french guys about the way to mestia and some other trails. After some water i strapped my bag to my back again and started down the range.
First walking the wrong way towards a high peak i turned back and went down into the valley. But this was not how the trail i was walking was supposed to go. Which was over some ridges. i ended up going sll the way down a valley. Crossing a river. Losing the path. Bushbashing my way through large patches of tall flowers, thistles and stinging netles. Ending up at the top of a scree slope above a glacier. Having to throw my pack dow the slope, slide down the scree and cross the glacier.
More overgrown cow paths and searching for paths followed. And i started to feel weaker and weaker. Looking back though, was beautiful and satisfying.
But walking further the valley didnt seem to end… Almost at the end i met 4 Georgians on horseback and they confirmed Mestia was not far away! One of the girls asked where i was from. I answered Amsterdam and she gor a strange look on her face. Probably wondering if i came walking all the way from the netherlands… I probably looked like it. I felt strangely like i was a bit drunk.
The last part of the journey was over the road. I arrived in thd village just before Mestia and had to walk 2km to Mestia. Walking past a gass station the atendant stood up and offered me his seat outside. But i asked for water and he quickly filled me a cup and handed it to me. I sat down, drank the water, thanked the kind man and continued towards the town.
Dave, my friend who i was going to meet here already booked me a room in the guesthouse, so after some searching i found the place and was welcomed inside and given some water. Taking off my pack, shoes and socks i had to come to my senses. I was finslly there! I left Mazeri at 8:30 and arrived at the guesthouse at 20:30. I walked for 12 hours! 1500 meters ascending. 1300 meters descending.
I went to lay down in my room for 15 minutes. My body was shivering and i was feeling cold while being quite warm. and after i took a shower. And dinner was waiting for me. Brought up by Keti, the girl that runs the guest house.
It was the best melon, sweet bread and wine (they dont hsve beer) i ever tasted. And i went to bed shivering and burnt. But oh so happy. And looking forward to meet Dave, who was going to arrive in the morning with his fioncee Annie.