Friday, 3 July, 2015
After another ordinary breakfast – we sat outside in the back this time – we meet John out the front of the Hotel. We walk around to the local Museum which is actually only a few meters away from where we had breakfast.
We then go out in the bus to have lunch with a local woman to learn about medicinal herbs, cheese, bread starters and ancient methods of silk production. Lamara is like a walking encyclopedia of folk knowledge, she is bright eyed as she walks us through the inherited wisdom she acquired from her grandmother, and she is a great chef to boot! A real character we are told by John.
Lamara talks to us, via John, about several of the natural plants growing in her garden and their health benefits. I have a sore on my finger which has been there for the whole trip and longer and she grabs a leaf to put on it. (To be honest, when the leaf is removed some time later there is no improvement.
For those that do not know anything about silk, such as us at the start, she tells us the silk comes from the cocoon for baby silk moths. The best silk comes if the pupae is killed before it hatches. Lamara holds up an empty cocoon and states that this small thing can generate 1,500 meters of silk.
Then after quite a delay, there is – wait for it – a lunch.
Lamara tells a story about how her older brother used to torment her for the first 10 years of her life but then really looked after her after that. Sadly, the brother died young leaving her without a protector until another “brother” came along – John himself. Great story.
After we depart Lamara, we stop at another monastery briefly.
Back to the Hotel for a rest up before the finale feast tonight. We walk to Pheasant Tears.
The table is structured so that a group of nine sit in the middle with the rest of us around them. They are lead by John’s wife who heads up the Zedashe group and they provide music all night long with their polyphonic singing with traditional Georgian instruments, sort of randomly breaking into song.
Bryn had borrowed some PVC tubing so that he could do his Didgeridoo which he did well. No photos sorry.
I even got up, talked a bit about Australia and sang? a couple of stanzas of “Downunder”, no photos thankfully.
So then it is time to go. After farewells at the restaurant, we go outside and Besu has kindly brought his van to drop us off at the Hotel.
We are off early tomorrow morning to avoid the check-in limit hassles with Turkish airlines. So, we have teary goodbyes with our magical group vowing to meet again, probably in Australia, probably in 2017.