The Catchers in the... Khada Gorge
Everyone, even the most modern lovers, appreciate the places with old spirit, the murmur of the warrior souls, mysterious legends of the fall… Khada Gorge belongs to one of these medieval spirited Georgian locations, which is unfortunate, almost forgotten among people. But every cloud has a silver lining, so, here you can really feel the freedom, as no one will break your peace, not even the locals. You may think, that they didn’t exist, as they are so quiet people, living cozily, alone in their little, mushroom- like homes …
I loved this place for the first time, I saw it. First of all, the main reason why you should visit that lovely place, is the location. It’s near Tbilisi, about 100 kilometers far, in Mtskheta- Mtianeti region, so you can go hiking there in one day, and get back to your place. It’s also close to the Gudauri Ski Resort, and Pasanauri, where you can eat the most delicious Georgian world-wide known food- Khinkali... And though it’s so close to the capital city of Georgia, it is marvelously beautiful, old, wild and magnificent. This is a gorge, which starts in Bedoni village, bellow Jvari pass and crosses that fantastic Khada gorge, still not known to everyone, even among the most experienced guides and hikers.
So, let’s start the journey. On the way to Khada gorge, there are many wonderful things you will come across. First of all, it’s a legendary “dwelling” of a couple. It’s almost impossible to notice from the road, but if you ever have been there, you will never forget that place. This is a rock, hidden in the trees, where, according to a legend, a century ago, a foolishly enamoured man carried off the girl, he loved and hide her here. It’s really hard to reach this “castle”, but believe me, it’s worth seeing. You will have to walk through the wild trees, thorny plants, which will scratch you, dead branches and so on, when, suddenly, out of nothing, the man made boulders will appear. And here you are, in the scary and mysterious cave-like living place. You will notice little “windows” made out from stones, and names everywhere- people, who dared to climb over here, wrote down their names on the stone walls. And standing there, between the natural rock and man made stone wall, realising, how they survived here, in such conditions, maybe explode in your brain and make your head ache. This will be the time, when you realise, that crazy, stupid love can make everything work out.
Next spot is Acidic Water- one of my favourites. I was astonished, when I first saw that “thing”, as I couldn’t imagine, it was a water, even drinkable. The reason was the colour… like phosphorus, wriggling all along the way, naturally running from the ground. We stopped there for a while and drink it. Tastes great- carbonated and very cold. If you ever tried out famous Georgian mineral waters, like Likani, Borjomi and others, believe me, it tasted even more delicious, than them. And of course, it has curing affection, as it contains useful minerals and iron, iron is the main reason of its magnificent colour. Especially, it’s good, if you have eyesight problems.
People come here and stay longer to throw their glasses, it’s told, that washing your face every day with this Acidic water, during 20 days, will cure your eyes. As it turned round, this water is very famous, as too many villagers and bicker tourists stopped there, with empty bottles to take the delicious and curing water. I was even a bit ashamed of being by car, as there were grey-haired men with bikes and old ladies with hiking sticks. But that’s ok, maybe one day we will come here- riding a bicycle.
Next spot was Waterfall- very narrow and very long. Also, really easy to reach. We spent some time here, cooled down, take pictures and went on. The great passion and pleasure was just ahead.
From the car we saw many towers, towers everywhere. When it guarders noticed enemy, they set fire to warn people about the upcoming threat. As I have already mentioned, Khada gorge is known as a “place of 60 towers”, which defended the villagers and everyone in the nearby place from the enemy, just like “Holden Caulfield” from the book of Salinger, “the catcher in the Rye ”, had a dream to catch little, pure children, not to fall from the rock, into the cruel world, and polluted their souls, the same with had those Towers, as they didn’t want to forget the traditions of the mountains… They were even afraid of modernism and tried hard to maintain the early life-style. They really were the catchers in the Khada Gorge… So, like that, we reached the little lovely village, with about 10 houses, small, like an eagle’s nest. Tranquility is everywhere, like no one has ever said a word here. We saw small, but very strange old church, with its bell-tower, so beautiful, I hardly made myself not to ring the bell… On a green field, with warm and soft grass there were several graves, but even graves were kind of, pleasant to see. I don’t know how to express this emotion. You can just lay on the ground and listen to the nature, feel the slow breeze on your cheek, like kissing you softly, while sleeping. You can look around, see those majestic green, sub- alpine mountains, no vestige of modernity… just the nature and you, just the two of you… But this is just the beginning of the real journey. Form here appeared the little path, which would lead us to the Waterfalls, many waterfalls.
We could notice them, not them, but the rivers, created by them during the way. They were roaring, called: come and bathe here, but there were too cold, I emphasize, unbelievably cold to swim, or just put your finger on it. The reason is also unbelievable: there was an avalanche once nearby, and the snow has created a mountain, which slowly melts down to the waterfall, and makes it water even more cold. This is the reason, why you can’t swim in the basin of the waterfall, which really “calling out” to jump on it. Also, on this avalanche there are many stones, which fall through the waterfall time after time, so it’s really dangerous, if you dare to swim here. We climbed over the frozen avalanche, then, walked through the path an reached one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. It was like an attraction, with a hole in the rock, and turned water in it, like a blender, I don’t know how to express this beauty, you should see it with your own eyes. This waterfall creates many stages, with small reservoirs, tied together, like a water chain. This is really worth seeing, believe me.
In a nutshell, Khada Gorge is a place for those, who is looking for new experiences, new adventures, in a small period of time. If you want to get lost in the medieval villages, if you are seeking for the calmness and majestic beauty, combined with the breathtaking experience into the wild, Khada Gorge is worth to visit.
- The distance is 14 km
- Duration 6 hours
- Elevation Gain- 800m up, 400 down.
I recommend you to wear appropriate footwear, especially, it would be better to have- waterproof one, as there are many rivers, where you have to walk across and even marshlands, where, at least, your foot will get wet. Raincoat, torch, and of course suntan lotion and hat, as there are no trees, and you will have to walk under the sizzling sun. so, if you don’t want to get red, like a piglet, and like me, just be sure, you have them.
Hope you liked my article about Khada Gorge enought to start your own journy...