By Tika Bujiashvili
Mountainous Ajara is an interesting rout for tourists, but not very popular today because of unmarked paths. Consequently, you can’t find them on the tourist map. Chirukhi, Sarichairi, Tkhilvana, Shuamta, Beshumi are the names of iailebi in highland of Ajara. “Iailebi” are summer pastures. People living in Zemo Ajara, mostly old women, leave their houses for three months and take their cattle to Iailebi. They are also called memteurebi.
You can go to Sarichairi through the village Khikhadziri. The view is really spectacular. On the way you will see wooden houses.
People are very hospitable here. If you stop your car, you will be offered traditional dishes or cold drinks.
In Sarichairi, Khikadziri summer pastures place, there is a small lake –Black Lake, which has another name-Kara Goli.
The length of the lake is 150m and width-50m. The lake is bigger in spring time than in summer time. Locals say that it has an ’eye’ or a secret exit. There is a legend about the lake, which was written by a scientist and a traveller T. Sakhokia. The legend says that, Queen Tamar had an African American captive. The captive ran. The followers caught him, but at the lake he ran again and jumped in it. He was never found. After this fact the lake was called Black Lake-‘Kara Goli’. Kara means black, Goli-lake
Near Black Lake there is another small natural lake, which is also very beautiful.
So, if you decide to visit Mountainous part of Ajara, don’t miss the chance to visit the place. Back from Sarichairi, you can visit Khikhani Fortress. You can set up your tents or spend a night at the guest house “Khikhani” in the village Khikhadziri where you will be met by a hospitable family and taste local delicious dishes too.
See KhikhanCastle here: