Alex and I had planned to go to another glacier, the Leghziri glacier, today but this morning I decided I’d have a rest day, so Alex set out on his own.
I spent some time reading on the veranda of our guesthouse and had lunch with the American/Australian couple staying here, too.
In the afternoon I went to the tourist information to get some maps of the region and of Georgia (check), to ask about an Internet place (no check), to tell them that the markers for the hike across Guli Pass are incomplete (half check, I don’t think the guy fully understood what I wanted to tell him), and to find out where the local ethnographical museum is located exactly (no check, it’s closed and being renovated).
Interestingly, in the narrative on the back of the maps the disputed Georgian areas of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are simply not mentioned. For example, for the Kazbegi region (central north of Georgia) only the northern (Russian) and eastern and southern (Georgian) neighbouring regions are listed, the western neighbour (South Ossetia) has been silently omitted. Maybe one reason is that it is quite difficult (or impossible) to categorize South Ossetia in terms of nationality, as was done for the other neighbouring regions. The area is currently not under Georgian control, but occupied by Russian troops, and claims independence from both countries. However, almost no other countries recognize it as independent. Pretty much the same story holds true for Abkhazia.
Finally visited the Svan tower in our host’s backyard. Amazing. The first floor is approx. 3m above the ground. Inside there are four more storeys, all of which, including the first one, can only be reached by means of removable wooden ladders. The roof is partly open so that we could climb out and have a splendid view over Mestia.
Like every evening, the host’s dog is trying to hump the local cows, doggy-style.