The Dariali Route
A beautiful route snakes through the black rocks of the Dariali Gorge. As you leave Stepantsminda and cross the River Chkere, a spectacular view of Mount Kazbegi and the Holy Trinity Church will open up in front of you. As you continue North, you will travel along the banks of the River Tergi. After the fall of the Soviet Union, this river was the site of mass baptisms as local Mokhevians were able to freely express their religious beliefs once again. Mokhevian is the name given to the people of the historical Khevi Province.
The ancient village of Tsdo can be found down an unpaved road to the West, approximately six kilometres from Stepantsminda. This historical location can be accessed with an off-road vehicle and provides a scenic detour. As you continue along the gorge and pass through a mountain tunnel, you will come upon a whitewashed niche containing a cross used in religious ceremonies.
Mokhevians fast on the holiday of Saint John the Baptist, and attend a service in Nakhereti Church visible on the mountain ridge to your right. The following day, September 12th, prayers are dedicated to John the Baptist at the whitewashed cross and cattle are sacrificed to break the fast.
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