|Mountains of Svaneti|
At 7:30 a.m., Tea, Koba, Teona (Tea's sister), Zaza (Tea's cousin), and I piled into Paata's SUV (Paata is a neighbor) and drove north for a little over an hour to spend the day in Svaneti. We stopped at a dam that holds back our river, the Enguiri, stopped to see a couple of waterfalls and a spot where Zaza has land along the upper section of the Enguiri. We had a huge picnic lunch, and despite a little misty rain, Zaza and I went for an amazing hike up one of the mountains -- no trails -- no map -- no GPS -- just hiking up and up and up. There were signs of bear everywhere -- claw-marks, prints, torn-up trees, a den -- but we didn't see any bears. We were both bummed. We did see an awesome hawk, a huge, blue beetle eating a snail, lots of beautiful flowers and waterfalls, and 200-300-year-old trees. And then we hiked down and down and down! Driving back out of the mountains, a thick fog moved in, bringing cold air and harder rain. We were all so glad that the heavier rain held off while we enjoyed our adventure.
I was so glad to be able to travel with Tea -- she had been to Svaneti a very long time ago, but didn't remember much of it. We had a great time exclaiming over the beauty of everything we saw. Sharing it with her was a great, great experience.