- Hiking / Trekking
- Off the beaten track
What a beautiful mountain river, and what majestic scenery! The Pirikitis Alazani Valley is a stunningly beautiful place. Dotted with wonderful shepherd's villages and roamed by flocks of livestock and horsemen, it simply exudes traditional pastoralism, and gives the impression of having remained largely unchanged for centuries.
I felt like I was gaining a real sense of the natural environment of the Caucasus in all its physical grandeur as I made my way up the Pirikiti Valley to the Chechen border. Imagine a day's walk that takes you from Dartlo to Girevi via Parsma and which, with each passing hour, sees you progressing into an increasingly remote and solitary landscape. Sheep, Caucasian shepherd dogs, mounted horsemen – proud and hospitable: everything here suggests a return to the simple, essential values of human life as lived in wide, open spaces.
Once I'd passed the last village, Girevi, on my quest to find the source of the turbulent river responsible for creating this deep, steep, V-shaped valley, I experienced a strong sensation of having reached the very limits of the civilised world. How incredible it feels to emerge from the pass at the end of this trek through the heart of the Caucasus and look out over Tusheti and Khevsureti, two of the country's most ancient and famous regions.