By Tinatin Bujiashvili

“Most of the time I am sunk in thought, but at some point on each walk there comes a moment when I look up and notice, with a kind of first-time astonishment, the amazing complex delicacy of the words, the casual ease with which elemental things come together to form a composition that is–whatever the season, wherever I put my besotted gaze–perfect.” Bill Bryson

Truso gorge and Valley is located on the northern slope of the Caucasus towards Russia, along the river Tergi. The Truso gorge and Valley is bordering Russia to the north and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali Region) to the west (the area occupied by Russia). The length of the gorge is 25 km. It takes 4-6 hours depending how far up the valley you go.

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There were 12 villages in the gorge, though today they are abandoned. The road goes along the river Tergi. The first village is Nogkhau.Nogkhau is an Ossetian word and means “new village” in Georgian. Today only ruins are left in the Village, no inhabitants any more, though early in 90s about 20 families lived there. You can see a small shrine there.

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Next village is Okrokana.  Only one woman lives there. In spite of difficult conditions she doesn’t live the village even in winter.

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On the way you can enjoy spectacular views of Truso travertines.

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Village ketrisi is located 10km from Okrokana. We saw only one man living in this village. Unfortunately, being unable to have a photo of a woman living for nearly 20 years alone in Okrokana, I was lucky to take a picture of him here.

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Further up, at a village Abano (the name is translated as a “bath”), comes heavy whiffs from nearby sulphur bogs. There are a Apostles Monastery and a Convent Dormition there.

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Truso gorge is rich in hydrocarbonate mineral waters and one can observe traces of these mineral waters along the whole gorge. Therefore banks of the river Tergi are of various colorings.

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Our destination -village Abano. We couldn’t go on our way any farther, as there is a border with Russia. You can just climb up the 17th century combat towers survived there and enjoy the spectacular views of the region. (the area is occupied by Russia Tskhinvali Region in Georgian). The tower is known as Zakagori tower.

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(These two photos are taken by Giorgi Kurashvili)

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“I will never go home, I thought with a finality that made me catch my breath, and then I walked on, my mind emptying into nothing but the effort to push my body to the bald monotony of the hike. There wasn’t a day on the trail when that monotony didn’t ultimately win out, when the only thing to think about was whatever was the physically hardest. It was a sort of scorching cure.” Cheryl Strayed

some photos are taken by Qartlos Robitashvili