The Caucasus is a region in between the south of Russia and the north of the Middle East, and between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. It comprises three countries officially recognized by the UN: Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
During the project Expedition Caucasus, we crossed Georgia from the north to the south, connecting the Russian border to the Armenian border. We started from the Ushba glacier (north from the Mazeri village), trekking through the wild and mountainous regions of Svaneti and Racha before entering more inhabited areas. We then took advantage of the Borjomi National Park’s hiking trails, walked through many villages in southern Georgia and finally reached the border crossing near Bavra.
Our itinerary was traced to the best of our knowledge, which were nonetheless extremely limited at the moment due to the meager ressources available to us regarding maps and the novel aspect of our trek. We hoped to hike around 600 to 700km in more or less 40 walking days, while allowing us about 20 more days for rest and/or visiting the place, for a total of two months minimum.
In the end, because of a total lack of places to find accommodation and provisions (the villages mentioned on the maps were usually nothing more than a handful of houses sprinkled amongst the mountains), we modified our itinerary to include a few regional centres, i.e. two or three towns of around 20 000 inhabitants.
In total, the expedition lasted 55 days: 29 walking days, 576 km, over 23 000m of elevation gain and almost 22 500m of vertical drop. We hiked on average 20 km per day with 800m of elevation gain and 775m of vertical drop.
Without a doubt, Georgia is a magnificent and mountainous country!