Davit-Gareja, Georgia

Davit-Gareja, Georgia

When we traveled from Kakheti back to Tbilisi, we arranged for a sidetrip to Davit-Gareja. Davit-Gareja is a monastery on the Georgia-Azerbajan border. The landscape here looks somewhat like parts of Utah or New Mexico, and as such it is quite different than the areas visited before. Around Telavi and Tbilisi are wooded hills and agricultural lands with vineyards, but here there are extensive grasslands and exposures of reddish sandstone.

The Caucasus Mountains: hiking Kazbegi, Georgia

The Caucasus Mountains: hiking Kazbegi, Georgia

We spent a day hiking to Gergeti Trinity Church and the alpine meadows above it. Most tourists have themselves driven up in Lada 4x4s on a rutted, rocky road. We almost got carsick just looking at the cars bouncing in the track, and decided to hike up instead.

From our guesthouse we walked down into town, crossed the river on the bridge, and then hiked through a meadow to meet up with the dirt track. The road switchbacks up a hillside with ever-expanding views.

Hiking Madeira

Hiking Madeira

Madeira is a volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a very rugged island with coastal cliffs all around. Madeira is known for its irrigation channels called levadas. The levadas contour around steep mountainsides, taking water from streams in the rainy interior and delivering it to drier areas. Alongside the levadas are pathways for maintenance, and these pathways are great for hiking.

How to organize a long-distance hike in Britain

How to organize a long-distance hike in Britain

Britain is one of the premier destinations in the world for long-distance hiking. Surprisingly, very few North Americans know about this. Many people are aware of the Appalachian trail in the eastern U.S. and the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, but ask someone about Offa’s Dyke or the Pennine Way and you’re bound to get puzzled looks. In short, these trails are a well-kept secret.