Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Wonderful Weekend Part 2

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Today I’m visiting the Irishman’s village. I sit and let his mother serve me coffee and khatchapuri, even though I’ve already eaten, just to socialize for a few minutes before we head out on a picnic with his seventeen-year-old host brother. The Irishman mentions that our food for the picnic is “still rather alive.” Oh boy.


We’re well on our way and have even picked up the host bro’s friend, some drinks, and some fruit. We drive through open areas where the mountains are visible for miles on each side, and through cute little villages filled with ruined buildings that have been there for who knows how long.

When we get to the Kavtura River, we park the car at a public camping area and walk. The Irishman and I assume that we are scouting out a good picnic spot.

But then we walk. And walk. And walk. Eventually we bother to ask, and are told we are going to a church. And indeed, after a good hike, we come to a beautiful church tucked into the mountains. The church and the area in general are both called Qvataxevi. Apparently it’s an old church that burned during one of the many wars in which someone or another decided to conquer Georgia. Dozens of people died, mostly monks. But it was restored and so was their faith…if it had ever been damaged. Monks live there even today, and Georgians and travelers alike journey to the secluded church regularly.


We park the car by the road, grab all the picnic gear, and slide through dirt and leaves to the bottom of the mountain, where a small river runs between our mountain and the next. It’s too cold for the trees to be green, but it’s still gorgeous. Giant rock faces, quaint waterfalls, the clear water. I soak in a thousand shades of color and wish that we wouldn’t have to leave in a matter of hours.

The boys get a fire going and it’s time to cook the food. The main course of which is a cute, fluffy bunny.

I take a walk in the other direction and return when the throat-cutting part is done.

We sit around the fire and eat fruit and khatchapuri and listen to music while the rabbit cooks. When it’s done, it tastes great. And I’m able to eat it without lingering on how cute it was when alive.

The host bro says he’ll drive me home so we don’t have to get back in time for my bus. Everyone in Georgia seems to know or know someone who knows everyone, so it’s no problem for him to call my university-age host brother and relay the updated plan.

We explore for a while after we eat. This would be a great place for camping. Except for the jackels. But seriously, I need to look into working for Lonely Planet or something. I want this to be my life. Not my whole life, but it would be really cool for a while. To experience Georgia in this way, but long term…without worrying about going to a “real job” the next day.
And this is the burden I've taken upon myself in my travels, I suppose...to be always content but never satisfied.

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