Chalaati Glacier

Had a lazy morning. After lunch Alex and I jumped onto the bikes and cycled to the north, towards the Russian border, along the river Mestiachala. The track is rough and rocky and every now and then a stream crosses, or both track and stream use the same bed for up to a few hundred meters. We got wet feet but it was fun to ride through the water.

After about 9km the track ended at the confluence of the Mestiachala and the Chalaati rivers. We left our bikes behind and crossed the Mestiachala over a narrow Soviet-built suspension bridge. Near the bridge there is a border control post. The soldiers there welcomed us with lots of ‘my friends’ and ‘welcome to Svaneti’ (the name of the region here).

Then we continued along the Chalaati river on a well-trodden path for about 2km to the foot of the glacier. The river emerges from under the ice. Not just a few drops. It’s a full-blown river right from the start. It looks awesome. We walked around on the ice directly on top of the river for a bit. Everything is covered by small rocks and big boulders that have fallen down from the melting ice.

Returned on the same way we’d come.

Cycled: 19km

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