It was time to leave Yerevan and to go to Georgia. First I went by bus to Aparan. There it was raining for the first time during that journey. Initially I wanted to get to Georgia, but it got later and later although hitchhiking did not go that bad.
So since R. told me she was living in a village near the Georgian border and would be happy if I came by, I changed my plan to crush there.
At here place the whole family was together. Her mum had a East German pen pal during Soviet Union. So I translated some of the letters since strangely the German girl didn’t write in Russian. For the next day everyone prepared a special breakfast: A soup with the feet of a cow and Vodka respetively Chacha (a 70% super delicious alcohol).
So I will tell of the next morning: Maybe for breakfast it sounds a bit nasty to eat cow feet soup and drink strong alcohol. But hell, it was delicious! Bread was served as well and one of the family’s friend showed me his chacha distillery. Chacha is a made of fruits (often mulberry) with a high percentage of alcohol (between 50% and 70%) and as I said before it is really delicious. It was a great experience, thanks to R.
Ich verließ Jerewan Richtung Georgien. Ich fuhr erst mit dem Bus nach Aparan. Dort regnete es das erste Mal während meiner Reise. Ursprünglich wollte ich bis Tiflis kommen, doch es wurde später und später.
Da R. mir gesagt hatte, sie wohne in einem Dorf in der Nähe der georischen Grenze und würde sich freuen, wenn ich vorbeischauen würde, änderte ich kurzer Hand meinen Plan.
Bei ihr war die ganze Familie versammelt. Ihr Mutter hatte zu DDR-Zeiten eine Brieffreundin gehabt, deren Briefe ich übersetzt habe (komischerweise wurde nicht der Fremdsprache geschrieben, sondern in der Muttersprache und die Lehrerin übersetzte dann). Für den nächsten Tag wurde schon das Frühstück vorbereitet: Suppe aus Kuhmagen und Kuhfuß mit Vodka bzw. Tschatscha (70%-iger wunderbar schmeckender Alkohol).
Ich greife dem Morgen gleich mal vor: Es mag sich vielleicht wirklich ekelig anhören, aber das Essen hat wirklich gut geschmeckt. Es gab zu der Suppe noch Brot und danach wurde ich von einem Verwandten, der natürlich auch im Dorf wohnt zur seinem Haus genommen und er zeigte mir seine Tschatscha-Brennerei. Tschatscha ist ein Obstschnaps, der bis zu 70% Alkohol hat und einfach genial schmeckt. Es war eine tolle Erfahrung, die ich dank R. machen durfte.
I didn’t know the reason why I wanted to go to Shatili or how I got to know that special village. But it was fantastic and I haven’t seen something like this before. Georgia can be a really magical country. The street from Chargali to Shatili is more or less just a dirt road that curls over the 2676m high Datvisjvari Pass. I was super lucky to hitch a ride by a truck that even went further to deliver wood. Till the pass we had the Kazbeg in our backs, surrounded by dark clouds. After the pass the rainy clouds caught us and we were surrounded my hundreds of sheep crossing the road for several times, Due to the rain the road because from dirty to very dirty and a bit slippery and the truck was wide whereas the road was narrow. At some points there were slopes to a river on one side and on the other side sharp rubble from above. One time I had to pilot the truck through the rubble – in sandals that I was wearing cleverly.
At some point we bended and there was Shatili. Ich didn’t know how it would look like and was speechless. On the photos that I posted one can imagine a bit. It was raining and I tried to get onto the mountain apartments in sandals. After some minutes a man whose name I forgot shouted at me I should come to his place. He was coach of a box club that is meeting once a year there for some kind of camp. There was no running water, well actually there nothing – just a space on the floor under a roof, but it was enough for me, I was very happy. We drank wine and beer and ate bread with cheese.
Day 20, July 27th, Mon, Shatili-Tskaltubo
In the morning the weather was better. While the boxers were sleeping and strolled through the village, enjoyed the beautiful landscape and then started to go to Svaneti. I thought that it would take long time, to get out of Shatili, but only after like 30 minutes I got a ride to Tbilisi and from there I went to Kutaisi. In one town I could finally get some money as well after having spent four whole days without any money. Two times I caught rides with drunk people, of whom the last ones missed the exit to Kutaisi permanently which made me quite angry. In the end a grandfather with his granddaughter, who is going to Germany for school, took me to Tskaltubo where I slept in the yard of an abandoned school camp building.