Ardoti – Tbilisi

After breakfast we were visited by a herd of cattle. They were quite nosy and we had to prevent them from tasting our tents.

We continued along the Andaki river. There is now an actual track, which makes the hike a little easier, but also less adventurous. It was obvious that we were approaching inhabited areas again. However, the next human dwelling was another military checkpoint. We were stopped and our passports checked.

Then we saw Mutso. Mutso is another fortress-like abandoned village, built on an almost vertical rocky cliff. It is even more impressive than Ardoti and Khakhabo before, and has more buildings.

There is only one inhabited house, at the foot of the mountain, close to track and river. We left our bags with a guy living there while we climbed up to see the ruins. There were other tourists there, too. Georgians or Russians, I forgot. Probably on a day-trip from Tbilisi.

We marched on and came through a tiny village which was at least partly inhabited and built at the bottom of the valley, and therefore obviously younger than the fortress-villages. The daily? weekly? Tbilisi-Shatili marshrutka drove past and returned a while later. We asked whether there were any more marshrutkas going down to Tbilisi these days. The driver said there were none, and if we wanted to reach Tbilis any time soon, we should hop on. So we did.

The ride back to Tbilisi was not spectacular, even though the countryside was.

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