According to the accepted standards Georgia is associated with high and spiky mountains that plough the skies and try to reach the sun with their lofty heads. The landscape creates the feeling of the high-rise sky that seems to be somewhere far-far away. It is also one of the reasons why even during the summertime it gets darker almost at eight o’clock in the evening. Mountains, without any doubt, occupy the honorable first place in the beauty contest of Georgia’s natural peculiarities. Bewildered by the beauty of the scenery many people forget about another crucial element of Georgian nature and the shadowed beauty of rivers is going to be the topic of my following discussion.
Swift and roaring rivers penetrate both eastern and western parts of Georgia that had always been the source of life beginning from the early signs of civilization. Rivers are wild, bear an unprecedented character, and this fact makes them not easy to conquer.
Aragvi – one of the most beloved rivers of the rafters has shown its obstinate temper. Extreme sport lovers confess that Aragvi wins heart immediately. At the beginning its turbulent waters are as if fighting with the human invasion and try to capsize the boats. The nearby forests, transparent air, and the spirit of adventure leave an unforgettable crust of freedom but the fight is with the nature forces is not over yet. Oars that substitute swords in the flamboyant race are enveloped by the foamy body of Aragvi.
The stress and pressure seem to fade away only in some time and the benevolence is bestowed to the assiduous conquerors of the river Aragvi. Those who cannot imagine their life without extreme sports and have a chance to visit Georgia this spring have to go on a tour and do their best to pacify the waters of the river Aragvi.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE RIVER ARAGVI
Aragvi is the river in the east of Georgia and it is the left tributary of the the Mtkvari river (the longest river in Georgia). The overall length of the Aragvi river is 66 km. Many people who are familiar with such tourist centers as Mtskheta and Jvari may see the place of fusion of one river into another. Those who come to see Aragvi in Mtskheta may also visit the Zedazeni monastery with its only dwellers – male monks. The monastery was founded in the VI century A.D.
There are four rivers under the name of Aragvi. One of them is White Aragvi that flows in parallel to the Georgian Military Road. The beauty of the river can be seen from the top of the Cross pass.
Zhinvali photo reservoir. Photo by Reinis Fischer
There also are Black Aragvi, Khevsuretian Aragvi, and the smallest of all is the Pshavi Aragvi. All of these four rivers flow into the Jinvali reservoir.
RAFTING ROUTES ON ARAGVI RIVER IN GEORGIA
One of the known routs to get to rafters’ assemble place lays through a small village – Chargali, the birthplace of the known Georgian poet Vazha Pshavela. The nature of the Pshavi district is striking. It resembles a shy and exotic Georgian woman that is hiding its beauty in the thickened forests. Those who will be lucky may even contemplate the ancient Georgian contest under the name ‘doghi’ (დოღი). It is a horse racing that is usually held to pay tribute to all the deceased people in the village.
The coven of rafters often finds special places where it is easier to put the boat on the water and one of those places is just near the Chargali village.
All in all there are 6 levels of difficulty and the instructor has to ask first which one you would prefer. The rafting team should also provide the fearless volunteers with caskets, special clothes, and all the rafting equipment. All in all it may vary from 30-70 GEL (approximately 12-30 USD), though the prices mostly depend on the agencies and their services. It might take about 4-5 days to sail the whole length of the river
Many novices feel a shiver in their knees because of the excitement and the panic but the journey on the river is absolutely safe. Experienced instructors are always there to help. They say that Pshavi Aragvi is the ‘kindest’ of all the four rivers as it is not that rough as others. During the spring season the river represents a deep-water body – a result of endless heavy rains in the mountainous region. Starting from July the river is calm and even novices can look around without any shadow of fright.
Another route takes the start in the village of Manaseuri. It is easy to get there by bus from Tbilisi that rides through the Georgian Military Road. Many rafters claim that the river’s surroundings ate the best place for hiking and sleeping under the sky in the tents. The White Aragvi’s route does not inspire any fear but you have to be extremely careful because of the gas pipelines and low bridges. There were several occasions when the bow nose hit the iron bars under the bridges and the boats would capsize if talented maneuvers of the rafters had not stopped the accident.
Those who are into rafting have a wonderful opportunity to try a new river and get new emotions and unforgettable emotions in Georgia. Shatili is another place where you can initiate rafting experience because one may find all the facilities needed for a perfect recreation.
After making a few stops at the river banks, the exhausted conquerors of the river Aragvi may have a substantial and delicious Georgian dinner made of organic and fresh products. The air is so fresh there even though the locality is just 60 km away (Shatili village) from the capital – Tbilisi.
One more joyful statement – it is possible to rent a bicycle in the mountains. Those who feel the burden of the tasty dinner in the stomachs can immediately burn the calories riding down the hill on the bicycles.
Georgia is an equivalent to an adventure. When you go to find one activity you may accidentally bump into another source of interest that will lead you on a long and impressive journey. The gurgle of the Aragvi, fresh air, and the Georgian pastoral make a memorable experience that will get curved in your hearts.
For the detailed information it is possible to contacts these guys: Aragvi Adventure Center