Today I woke up too late to catch the bus to Zugdidi (I like the name of this town: it sounds joyful). While under the shower, I got a call from a TLG friend. Good thing, because, well…I was going to relax by the river, as has become customary for me to do between 14:00 and 18:00 (these four hours pass by without me noticing, because the rush of the current distorts my perception of time). Oh, shall I mention: my host family’s house is right by a magical river. Literally.
So my friend comes to see me, all ready for a “little” hike. I am ready for it as well; the hike being, as it was my expectation, short. I figured the little heat and sweat were going to make me appreciate even more the swimming we were going to do right after our walk. Anyways, Georgian hospitality oblige, my host mom prepared an opulent, delicious lunch. We ate with the whole family. After lunch, we hit the road.
The beginning of the path we took today is the same as the one we used the week before, when I went on a hike with another TLG friend, and my host brother.
That’s when we arrived at the bridge. It’s a wooden bridge supported by steel cables. As nice-looking as it looked, I had a hard time walking on these unstable plates of wood, and my fear became more pronounced as we were progressing. Such a feeling was not at all shared by my friend, who blazed through the mighty dreadful void: a fall in the rocky current would most certainly switch your lights off. He was merrily hurrying me to come on over faster, and I couldn’t get my eyes off the river down below. I finally got to the other side, and… that’s where I started to realize that my friend was meaning serious business…
We thus walked along an incredibly un-glamorous path, merciless as the cliffs and ebbs were, soiled by humongous piles of cow waste. We walked. And walked. Until we arrived at the edge of a clearing. The fresh air hit my nostrils with such smoothness, I almost gracefully passed out. I guess that was the payoff.
Then, it seemed everything was fairy-like. The landscape offered itself to my avid eyes, as it unfolded with each furthering step we took… Seriously, everywhere I looked, I was so happily mesmerized!
There is much to see in mukhuri. Being adventurous takes on a literal meaning here, as well as a figurative one: learning a new language, and a new and awsome culture. Each time I feel a little apprehensive about stepping into that classroom, or starting a discussion, I just have to think about how nice this hike got after I conquered my fears and feelings of discomfort.