Walking from the bridge where the minibus (mashrutka) dropped me off, it starts raining.
I asked the driver to drop me off here, so i can walk (an hour) to Mazeri and hike two extra trails in the coming two days. On my way i meet some people that assure me (in the little english and russian they know) i’m going in the right direction. And some even offer me to stay in their guesthouses, but i kindlyrefuse because i want to wake up in Mazeria tomorrow morning so i can start the first hiking trail close to the beginning.
I walk past grazing cows and foraging pigs and chickens. They dont specifically seem to belong to anyone, because they wander freely over the road. The dogs on the fenceless properties beside the road seem friendly, at first, until one sneaks up behind me and starts barking and snarling at my heels without any obvious reason. After this i notice they each follow me for a bit before trailing off. I keep my eye on loose rocks on the ground in case i feel the need to defend myself…
Arriving at the border of the little town called Mazeria, the center about 1km away, a 14 year old boy called Luca asks me if i want to stay at his families guesthouse. I give in to my grumbling stomach (i only ate a small piece of bread that i took from Dave in the morning, a flat bread filled with potato at a rest stop and some m&m’s) and followed the boy to his house. Without any idea what to expect!
Luca leads me to the veranda where i meet hos Father Omar, his wife, the grandmother and Luca his little brother. Omar tries to explain in his best russian that they wil feed me dinner, breakfast and pack me a lunch for tomorrows trip. And i try to make smalltalk in my best russian, showing him my maps and telling him of my plans for the next couple of days. For each trail he gestures with his hand to the specific valley, showing me he understands.
When the food is ready i dig in to a feast. At least, that is what it looks like to me. Cheeses, bread, tomatoes, apples, yoghurt, saucages, apple jam, grape jam, ‘curry salt’?, tea and water. All home made or grown around the house. It was delicious.
After i tried talking to Omar and his wife but my language skills were not sufficient and the rain and thunder that had started stopped the internet from working, which i was using to translate some words. Instead i sat with Luca and hos brother, showing them my paragliding videos and videos from my week in Tbilisi. All the while grandmother was kneading a giant bucket of dough and smiling at the youngens huddled behind a tiny iphone screen.
And at done point the power went out. Because of the rain they said…
After using the outhouse in the garden, i wished them goodnight. Luca helped me carry some of my things to rhe room and he said: goodbye. I laid out all the things i would need for the next day; rainjacket, hiking boots, gaiters, etc. and decided i wanted to write this post.
I think there are animals living in this bedroom wall…