Yesterday I lost my hat at the Keselo fortress. So I made a small detour at the beginning of my hike to see if it was still there. My hat wasn’t there, but I could make some other photos with the different sunlight.
The remaining of my day was a little disaster. I had a map and a hiking route planned. Unfortunately, I got totally lost. Descending through tight vegetation I tried to find a bridge to cross the river. I couldn’t find the bridge and had to climb all the way back. I lost my last bottle of water and had to climb up for two hours and another hour to find water.
Conclusion, try to get some information about where you want to go hiking before leaving main paths…
The next day I decided to take an easier path to the village Shenako. From Shenako it should be one hour walk to Diklo. Another isolated village in the mountains of Tusheti.
The path to Shenako is very straightforward. You walk the forest track down to the river – where there is a bridge this time – and you climb up the hill on the other side. I was lucky here to get a ride by Georgian border soldiers from the bridge to Shenako.
The walk to Shenako doesn’t offer many views, but once you get at the top of the hill you can finally see the first part of Shenako. From here, it’s a lovely walk all the way.
Shenako is definitely one of the best mountain villages to visit. Not that there is anything to see except for the little church. This village is still completely authentic. The houses are build close to each other. I got lost – on purpose – in this labyrinth and got into a small conversation with a woman. A real conversation wasn’t really possible because of the language barrier but I always had a small photo book with me. It contains photos of my family and some places in Belgium.
I got some delicious peaches of them to take with me on my trip further to Diklo. The path goes slightly up on the other side of the valley. Soon you get a great view over Shenako when looking behind.
After this little climb, the path goes flat along the river straight through the beautiful wide valley to Diklo. If there wouldn’t have been those dogs, it would have been an easy hike.
A bit further on the path there were a lot of sheep. I noticed the dog in the distance, about at the time as the dog noticed me. It was clear I wouldn’t be able to pass the sheep without help of the shepherd. While looking where he might be, I suddenly was attacked by another dog from behind. Luckily I could just jump over the small river where I could turn myself towards the dog. Pointing my stick straight at him.
The dog was halted for a few seconds. Just enough time for the shepherd to come help me. He joined me for a few hundred meter keeping the dogs on a safe distance.
Just by hearing the sound of the shutter produced by my camera while taking the above picture. The big Caucasion Shepherd dog laying in the grass jumped up and even the shepherd himself had no control over that dog. The only way for him as well to keep them from attacking me was using his stick.
Soon after the dog incident, I reached the village of Diklo. It looks newer than Shenako. There is a water source in the middle of the village and two souvenir shops. One of them sold sells drinks and snacks as well.
It should be another hour to the old fortress of Diklo. I met a couple coming from the fortress. They immediately warned me for more dogs ahead.
There is a shepherd house halfway to the fortress. Dogs live with the people staying there. You don’t need to walk to the house. You can try to keep a distance of the house and walk straight over the hill.
Still the dogs noticed me and I was surrounded by three of these huge dogs. Luckily the owners had seen me coming as well and could take of the dogs fast.
From the house it’s only twenty more minutes to the old Diklo fortress from where you have stunning views in all directions.
I returned to Shenako where I met Shota. He works and lives at The Green House in Omalo. He had walked there from Omalo and was just going back to Omalo. So we walked the way back together.
When reaching the grass fields of Omalo, I noticed the Keselo fortress was just visible over the hill from this distance.
As usual , we were welcomed at The Green House with coffee and soon after with food as well. Special thanks to Keti and Natia for preparing this food 🙂
The rest of the day I spend around The Green House. I could really enjoy this life in the mountains.