The Georgian Adventure - Mazeri & Ushba Waterfall Hike

Can anywhere else be prettier than the stunning Mazeri?!


From Mestia town, we hired a marshrutka - comes with a driver who barely speaks a word of English. No problem, we thought. We only needed to send the "Mazeri" message across. The drive is approximately 30-40 minutes and we were charged 100 GEL (~USD42) for a return trip. It's a fair rate as it includes waiting time for us to finish hiking.

(In all our marshrutka rides, we did not attempt to bargain. All of them priced the rides accordingly, and thus far, we've not met any crooks who overcharge us. Let's hope Georgia retains its honest tourism!)

On the way out, we realized a huge mistake on our part: we were hardly prepared for the hike! We expected to purchase some chocolate bars and drinking water from nearby Mazeri town, but as we approached the start of the trek, we realized the nearest village is going to be another 15-20 minutes drive. We got annoyed at ourselves, it was getting late, and we are missing precious time we could be outdoors. 

We gestured to our driver that we needed water, and he signalled back that he can bring us to a nearby water source where we can fill our bottles. We came to a little water well, and our driver proceeded to fill up his bottle. I took a sip, and just couldn't swallow, so I spat it out. It's fizzy, and tasted a lot like sparkling water - something I cannot stomach. "Borjomi!", he exclaimed proudly, naming one of Georgia's biggest drinking water regions. 

Frustrated, we tried to relay to him that we needed to head to town to stock up. We called Davit, a Georgian who we have been consulting for hiking advice, to translate our needs. Davit informed us that there is a military outpost 30-40 minutes into the hike where we can fill up our bottles with mountain spring water. What a relief!

On the drive from Mazeri, towards the Ushba Glacier hike. We were already wowed by the view from the car - beautiful alpine forest, complete with snow capped mountains.

Every turn unveils a jaw-dropping sight. Tall alpine forests towered over us, only to be dwarfed by mammoth snow-capped mountains. Rumbling streams rushed past us and the thundering of waterfalls could be heard from a distance.

The trail continues on to the Ushba Glacier, which requires a full day hike. We'd started out late, with insufficient water and food. We have to give the Glacier a miss, but the waterfalls halfway into the trail more than make up for it.

30 minutes into the hike, we found the military outpost. Here we gratefully refilled our water supplies (crisp, fresh mountain spring water) and politely refused an invitation for cha-cha (Georgian vodka) from the militants on duty, hehe.

Another 10-15 minutes hike later, we diverged from the main trail and trekked towards the waterfalls.

We spent a good 15-20 minutes just snapping photos, and basking in the view. I am still in awe of such view! I fear my photos do not do justice to the beauty of this place. The intensity of the panaroma is diluted on a 2-dimensional photo.

It started drizzling, and we decided to move before the rain gets worse. Cameras + water = not a good combination!

Good thing we left when we did: 

An ominous-looking cloud that poured heavily 5 minutes after this shot was taken.

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