On which we did a great deal of hiking to one of Svanetias’ glaciers and figured out where the best Land Rover campsite of Svanetia are.
In the early afternoon, we left our Gnu in the shade of some trees and headed to the next Georgian Glacier. The way was broad and suitable for Gnu at first but then it turned into a steep and narrow path. After we crossed the bridge over a roaring river (it looked like if you were to fall into it you’d be dead the same second) we found a bigger basecamp. Some travellers left their horses there – an indication that the path would get even harder. It really got steeper and less navigable in the dense vegetation that was about a man’s height, sometimes we lost the trail and trekked through the basin of a small stream until we found it again.
Two spectacular waterfalls that we found on our way were finally declared to be our turn around point as it suddenly looked like a thunderstorm was approaching.
Even though a heavy rain and dark clouds stuck to the highest mountains in the north and were about to subdue all the surroundings we didn’t want to hurry up and leave Svanetia on that day. We drove slowly along the main road from Mazeri to Zugdidi checking the backroads for a good spot for our campsite. But there was nothing – we ended up driving the whole way down, parking close to the Jvani Reservoir by the main road (which wasn’t a good place for our Defender either. The last part of the road to Zugdidi was even slightly better suited for campsites).
If you want to follow in our footsteps: From our experience, Ushguli and Mazeri are the only two places suitable for a 4×4 campsite. But then again they are pretty much the best ones possible to find at all.