We assemble at 8am by Marjanshvili Metro, a group of 29 of us with Hiking Club Adrenalin, too big for one minibus, so we will ride out in an additional vehicle, a seven seater Honda Stream. On the map Dashbashi Canyon doesn’t look too far but the roads are twisty and uneven.
It will be a long day. First stop along the route is Manglisi Sioni, an important Georgian architectural monument and one of the oldest Christian centres in Georgia. The first church was built in the 4th Century, today’s cathedral dates back to the seventh century, renovated in 1002.
Manglisi Sioni მანგლისის სიონი
stone carving resembles Georgian flag
Inside a church service is taking place
Arriving around 11am, there was a church service being celebrated but in Georgian churches it is not unusual for people to amble in and out of the church during a service.
Next stop on the journey was Lake Tsalka.
Near Tsalka lake we visited “Fathers Region a Monastery of Three Priests” with its trout and holy water.
A second lake, Paravani Lake is located 2,073 m (6,801 ft) above sea level and has a surface area of 37.5 km2.
Ana posing by the lake
The Waters of Lake Paravani
Paata, Lia, Tamuna, Ana and Khato
Khato and me
Near to the lake was the Convent of St Nino in Phoka village with a small shop selling artisanal cheese, jam and liquor.
Finally at 6pm we reached our main destination, Dashbashi Canyon. A canyon carved in the volcanic rock by the river Ktsia.
We descended to the river where we gaped at the waterfall and had some fun splashing about in the river.
No Georgian excursion is complete without a supra (Georgian feast). Having climbed out of the canyon, we gathered around a fire, where Georgian Mtsvadi (Sashlik) was grilled and consumed.
A fire is started
we gather around the fire
Mtsvadi is prepared
Mtsvadi grilled on the embers
We got home at 1.45 am!