02 September, 2018

Tavkavta - my inspirational experience

Tavkavta canyon

In Shida Kartli, neither close, nor far from Kvatakhevi  is situated Tavkavta- a place, one should see while alive. It was a foggy and cold day, when all you want is just to cuddle in your plaid and sleep. My alarm clock hardly woke me up, I even wish to have a temperature, not to leave my place, but this lasted only a minute. It was my first day of hiking. I was kind of embarrassed. But it is said, that first experience is always unforgettable and I must say that in that case, that was right: from now on, Tavkava become my first love in hiking history. So, when we went down to those school busses, stopped near the entrance of Kvatakhevi, we come across the most little temple, I have ever seen. After snacking started our real journey. 3 guides were walking forwards, and one, the so-called trailing guide- behind us. There was a little river, or a spring of water, which we passed through jumping over the stones in it and started walking on the slope. From the peak of the slope they showed us the mountains, which we were going to hike. It was really cool and even awesome. My first expression was: “Seriously?”. Due to my “-2,75” eyesight, undressed my glasses, cleaned them and still peered through them, to make sure about which mountains they were talking about. Still the same, I was a bit nervous. So we started our trip across the most beautiful and thick forest, with very slim and long threes all around. A very narrow path was leading us. 

The further we went, the stronger the sound of the river was. The only thing I knew about the hiking place was, that there was a very fast, very cold and very big river, which we were to cross, but how- it was not clear. The problem was the step cliff, on where we had to climb down to get to the riverbank. But as for me, climbing down that cliff was almost a suicide (for one glimpse). But our main guides- Ucha and Natia calmed me and another frightened girl down, and we did it. It’s right- the only resistance of human possibilities  is their on fear of not being able to do something! So, when we climbed down and I sized up the cliff I just have “hiked”, I felt pride.  After this hindering, still forest “appeared”. We were walking strenuously, in some parts of the way we were cold, (anyway, if not other, I was!) and in some parts- it for very hot. At last, the noisy river was here, in front of your eyes! One of our guides- Nicko jumped unbelievably fast from one bank to the big stone in the river and my expectation of falling into the water- did not show off. He waited, until our main guide- Ucha threw him Zip-Line.

Descending down the river with Zip-line  was the greatest experience in my life. (I was even sorry, as it didn’t last long...). So, after a peaceful and pleasant sliding with Zip-Line, we go on our adventure. The hardest part was left to the main direction. It was mossy-covered high rock, where everything, fingers, foot was gliding and it was almost impossible for me to get down there. Ucha helped me out and with climbing ropes at last, I managed to crawl… really, I was crawling, as I was not used to climbing rules… but it was fine. I felt like I was Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. Great feeling! It was clear, that the waterfall was very near, as the river was even faster and noisier. We could hardly hear each other. So, walking along the cliff, we reached the river. Now it was impossible to stretch Zip-Line, so the heroes of our expedition hanged on their backs so-called “weak gender representatives”(but, believe me, if you had seen the opportunities of those girls on that journey, you would never ever called them Weak!), as a symbol of Georgian men’s respect of women. And like that, they go against the cruel river, which wanted us to be fallen in it. But we succeed in and get on another bank of the river. And like that, from the beginning of our journey, in 3 hours we reached the destination. In front of us was great waterfall, not very big, but kind of a scary. And nothing was better, than looking how water “waves” were rushing, and listening to it. There were two boulders near the waterfall, where our two guides quickly jumped. But that’s nothing if we compare what they did later- just climb over the waterfall’s cliff and get down with climbing ropes. Even looking at them filled me up with adrenaline. Hope, one day I will dare such thing too.  

To tell the truth, we had to see another two waterfalls, one of them- very big, but it was a very bad weather and some members were not ready enough, so they decide to go backwards. But that doesn’t mean, that the trip was over. Now, as we had enough time, we decide to see the legendary, mystic church up in the hill, which was “near there”. During this magnificent adventure, with other experiences, I also learned, that time is differently understood among guides (kidding of course). I mean, if they say, we will be there soon, it means, that at last 2 hours is left. But I should also mention, that not a single minute, or second is lost here, you don’t think about your friends in town, about your parents, maybe  they are calling you, you don’t care, that mobile connection tells you “No Service”, because all these stuff is useless and uninteresting anymore. I think, parted couples should go hiking, as they can forget everything about their heartbreak. It’s only into the wild, that one can feel calm and free. The only thing your mind can capture is the picturesque views, the smell of trees, wonderful sounds, which you can’t explain, and you don’t know from where they come from. Those old, crusty trees make you feel like you are in the “Pan’s Labyrinth”. Life is wonderful here. So, after walking through millions of design paths, hidden in flowers, we reached to two edges, and between them was a wooden bridge, made out of fallen trees, just like that. And under it, the river was roaring. 

We walked there and many rolled roads we saw the ancient fence, which was almost collapsing. It was a sign, that we were near the St. George’s church, legendary place, where once children were burned alive (according to the legends). Nowadays, childless couples get there and pray to have a baby. The church itself looked like it was colliding too, inside was a roll of little bones, and one cradle, within the wine- jar.

But this church is not the only sighting in this place. Behind the church there is a hill, from where the most beautiful views can be seen. You can just sit there and think about nothing. The sunset is wonderful, it’s warm and makes you want to sleep. This hill was worth the whole journey. You can see those marvelous mountains, hugging each other, warm breeze dancing on your face, and in this moment, you realize, that nature is everything. Happiness is here, and nowhere else. This is the place, where you will not even miss your own house, because mountains, nature is your real home.

Tags: #hiking #tavkavta #mountain #zip-line #nature
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