cows and pictures of the dead

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I couldn’t hang out in circuses and swimming pools forever. So today I packed up my stuff and walked out of Zestafoni:

leaving Zestafoni

Someone had apparently been trying to make the road a bit prettier by painting murals on some of the walls:

roadside murals

This echoed some of the older murals that the Soviet Union had left behind on factory walls. Many of those factories were now ruins:

Soviet mural

I quickly left the main road and went southwest into the mountains:

road through the mountains

This meant entering cow country. There were so many cows, and almost all of them stood still when they saw me:

cow number one

They would just stand there…

cow number two

…staring at me…

cow number seven

…softly shaking their heads, making their bells ring…

cow number three

…sometimes looking as if they were talking to each other about me…

cows number five and six

…and sometimes they would just hide in the bushes:

cow number four

Meanwhile, the road would wind up and down, up and down, up and down, seemingly forever:

up and down

And every once in a while there would be a building that lay in ruins:

roadside ruin

When I came to a graveyard I noticed that many of the headstones were accompanied by large painted portraits of the deceased:

Georgian grave

I had seen small portraits on graves before, and I had also seen photographic portraits on fresh graves.

But this specific sort of large painted portrait seemed interesting to me:

Georgian graves

I wondered if it was the same artist who painted all the dead people in this village:

Georgian grave

But since nobody was around I had no way of finding out.

When the sun went down I was still on the road. The valley looked good from up there:

the valley

But I was too tired to fully appreciate it. The ups and downs of the mountain road were taking their toll, and I was still fighting with the general feeling of fatigue that had been with me for the last month or so.

So I stumbled through the night…

nightly walking near Baghdati

…until I reached the village of Baghdati.

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