Linda: peaks, Japanese style toast and happy reunion

At 5:00 in the morning we were still alone in the hut. Marta was not eager to get up, I decided to practice my meager fire-starting skills with surprisingly good results. The breakfast of oatmeal porridge and condensed milk came out delicious and mint tea from the meadow as well. We purely enjoyed this perfect morning in mountains. Just before putting my backpack on, went to pee and realized that my menses have started unexpectedly, none of us having brought any female hygiene products with us. Ironically remembered GE activity on mooncup by our fellow glennies. Had to manage all the rest of the trek with what was available in my backpack. Girls, before you go to mountains try at least one day of menses without tampons or panty-liners and not much possibility to wash :).

At around 8:30 came to Mt. Rkinis Jvari and both went up to its extremely windy peak at 2439m decorated by a cross to delight in the view of immense sea of clouds below us with dark mountain ridges swimming in it and there received a message from Dito- one of the park guides with Jaba, that they could not come to Qvabiskevi previous day, as their car had broken down and they would meet us there at 9:00. There was no use turning back anymore so we decided to continue forward and hope that they will catch us at some point.

It was the most perfect trail today- of the kind that I like the most- traversing mountain ridges always staying high with constant panoramic views all around- west expanses of mountainous reality. 

Just before 12:00 came to Mt. Sametskvareo (the highest peak of the park) ranger shelter, just below a peak and found a park ranger, two locals, a boy and 3 puppy dogs there with their horses and cows. I had the impulse to stay at the hut at the first sight already- the location suited me perfectly and despite warnings that there is no water near this hut, there was plenty of it streaming down an ice/snow patch still not melted. The party at the hut turned out to be waiting for Jaba’ s group as well- were supposed to provide them with horses and were expecting them to arrive at around 14:00 so we sat down to eat and wait as well, weighting arguments for and against staying there for the night in our heads.

Shortly afterwards we were invited to join a table of food and of course- wine and cha-cha. exercised our alcohol refusing skills once more and when asked to toast, with the help of Marta’s phrase book came to this Japanese style universal toast in Georgian saying ”Sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows. What time is breakfast?”. Soon our long awaited party of three- Jaba, Dito, and Georgij (Geo) arrived and brought a lot of laughter, good mood, good music and fresh hazelnuts- just off the tree with them. We became very lively enjoying their company and telling our hiking adventure stories. It was decided- we stay here for the night.

I went to wash in the snow-melt stream and covered myself up just in time Dito appeared riding a horse. Marta was following him at slower pace, her horse being led by one of the locals. 

The Moldavian park ranger had had his norm of promiles and had started crying and decided to go back to Amarati despite his duty to help the trail- marking team. So the team was left without his help and without a horse, which was planned to be there to carry luggage and marking materials.

Before going to bed, decided to start early next morning and make all the way back to Atskuri the next day to end the trek on planned time.

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