Finally at 1 pm, it stopped raining and we could go for our first hike in Georgia! :D

The walk, in direction to Hatsvali cable-car station, is around 7km long and you could easily take a taxi there to save some time. The walk along the street is not the most interesting one.

Our team :)

A nice view of the whole Mestia, including a small airport which we later used for the flight to Kutaisi.

Since chances for cable car to be open were pretty slim because of bad weather conditions, we got off the concrete road and followed the path to the viewpoint Heshkili. Surrounded by few small, old huts and fields with herds of cows created the impression it is a long-forgotten place.

What I found very interesting, being a biologist, are the lichens growing on the fences and tree trunks. These pollution-sensitive species, hanging down in abundance tells how clean the air is!

While heading back to the village we noticed a path on the left which should lead us to the same place but away from the concrete road, along more interesting surroundings. In general it was easy to find the main path, however few times we had to cross some bushes or small clearing at the end.

This wooden sign marks the beginning of the shortcut through the forest. However, we didn’t spot it on the way up because there is a construction area around which makes it really tricky to find!

The hike was not demanding but just right for the first day, despite the length of 17 km. If you have more time, it is possible to extend it from the view point Heshkili to the upper station of the cable car (path going to the left) or even further in direction to Mentashi peak (based on the map and recommendations of others).