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High up in the Caucus mountains, near the Georgian border with Chechnya lies an impossibly beautiful collection of villages which are collectively known as Tusheti.  In order to get there, Beka and I met up with young Tushetian man named Irakli who took us on the four hour drive in his 4×4 van.  We crossed glacial streams, drove through forested valleys, saw countless sheep and goats, and crossed steep mountain passes until we arrived at the village of Omalo.  A defining characteristic of Tushetian civilization is the ancient watchtowers that dot the hills.   In the old days, they were used to protect the families when the villages were invaded and the warriors went off to battle.  The are really well preserved and they give the whole area a Skyrim meets Switzerland kind of vibe.

The guesthouse that we stayed in was amazing and highlight of my stay in Georgia.  The owners, like most of the residents, stay down in the valley during the bitter months but come up to enjoy the summers.  The room and bathroom were modern and clean but the whole central area had unmortered stone walls, a dirt floor, a wood burning stove, several old Tushetian artifacts and an open window that looked out over the indescribably beautiful mountains and valleys.  Beka and I took a walk around the green grassy mountain on which the guesthouse was located and came across an old castle, several watchtowers and lots of wildflowers, cows and horses.  When we came back, the family had prepared a huge feast of sheep liver sheep meat,  mushrooms, bread, and lots of different vegetables.  And course lots and lots of wine and chacha.  In the Georgian tradition, somebody would make a toast before each drink (not easy because Beka was the only one who spoke both English and Georgian).

I learned that several years ago, the mother and son (who was Irakli’s friend) had been in a crash on the way up.  They fell and tumbled 150 meters and the lady broke her spine but miraculously, she was now ok.  I also learned that Tushetis used to giants and they will cut a foreigner’s ear off if they look at any of their women.

I woke up in a great mood and ready to explore some more of the mountains.  Then Beka got a call from his boss Temo and things took a turn for the worse.  Somehow Temo had changed our plan again and now my tour was over.  So instead of 6 nights, it was now 3.  I was, of course, furious, but the driver was getting ready to head down and I would have been stranded.  I tried talking to him on the phone but somehow he was convinced that this had been the plan all along and that I was crazy.  Nevermind the paper that showed our six day itinerary.   So I left paradise early, got back in the van and listened to Georgian music all the way  back down the four drive.  I was fuming the whole time because I was so mad at the agency for ripping me off so hard.  Beka felt terrible about the whole thing but there was nothing he could do.  He offered to let me stay at his place. I was a little hesitant because I didn’t want to take advantage of him, but in the end I agreed and  it turned out to be awesome!  His apartment was huge and super nice. We went shopping and got some chicken, eggplant, eggs, bread, watermelon. His uncle came and brought fresh juice ,wine, and some flat corn bread.  We watched the euro league championship. He bet on a tie but Spain killed Italy.  Beka’s amazing hospitality helped ease the sting of being ripped off by his boss and I am really grateful to have met him.  The next morning, he even drive me to the bus station and made sure that I got on the right bus to my next destination: the mountain of Kazbegi.

  • On the Road to Tusheti
  • On the Road to Tusheti
  • Tushetian Man Working on Home
  • Best Kitchen View in the World
  • View From Tusheti
  • View From Tusheti
  • Watchtower in Tusheti
  • In the Fields of Tusheti
  • Rainbow Over Omalo
  • Kicking it the Watchtower in Tusheti
  • View over Omalo
  • Watchtowers over Tusheti
  • Our Omalo Guesthouse
  • Omalo in Tusheti
  • Rainbow to Omalo
  • Horse Near Omalo
  • Tower and River in Tusheti
  • Jesus and Mary with Grapes
  • Thirteen Syrian Fathers
  • Jesus in a Wine Cup
  • Wine Jugs near a Church
  • Holes for the Wine Jugs

Posted: July 30, 2012

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Europe, Georgia

+1 Comment
  1. Nata Brata says:

    If you can not see Dartlo! It is a sorrowful! Dartlo one of the most beautiful villages in Tusheti.

Leave a Reply to Nata Brata