In September 2019 I hiked part of the Transcaucasian Trail in Tusheti, Georgia. What I liked most about Georgia’s capital was its vibrancy, a busy arts scene, the thriving old centre of town, hot sulphur baths and unique tasty food are just some of its delights.  Even the museums are worth a visit especially to get a grasp of recent history. You can walk to most places too, which is good preparation if you are heading to the mountains. A couple of days are perfect to get a real sense of Georgian culture.

To reach Tusheti in North East Georgia and the Caucasus, the mountains that border several countries was a long bumpy ride but it’s a real adventure as you make your way through flocks of sheep and hastily rebuilt roads that cling to the mountainside. You know you are going somewhere special.

My plan was to walk between several small villages staying in local guesthouses and although I was hiking alone, the Natural Adventure Company’s smartphone navigation app with pre-loaded GPS tracks helped me stay on track.

A friendly driver took my bag to the next destination while I trekked past deserted villages and smooth walled towers (so your enemies can’t climb it) that are dotted around the hills. It’s a stunning landscape with much wildlife and sparkling rivers and as it was September the colours were vivid.

On the third day I had to cross a 3000-metre pass and I teamed up with a young German engineer who was very keen to film me for the video I’d been making (soon to be released). I’d had a couple of days to acclimatise and although there was less oxygen available the 16 km was covered in a few hours. On my final day, we drove to Tevali in the ancient Khaketi region where they have been making wine for 8000 years.  King Ereckle the second once ruled this area and there is a fantastic museum to prove it.

This is no ordinary country and the people are proud of their freedom and their land. Well worth a visit I’d say!

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