Help with Caucasus trip: Azerbaijan>Georgia

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Help with Caucasus trip: Azerbaijan>Georgia

by thatthang » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:38 am

Hey all,

I'm going on a climbing/backpacking trip starting in Baku, Azerbaijan on the Caspian and traversing west through Georgia to the Black Sea. I'm planning for stops in Svaneti and Ushguli. I'm leaving in two weeks and really struggling to find good topo maps of the area. Any suggestions on where I can buy or download Caucasus maps? Really starting to stress a bit RE the navigation! I also have a GPS so if there are any GPS downloads that may be useful to, in addition to the hard copies.

Also, in many of these areas you can stay with local families. Any info on how to locate potential families?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Help with Caucasus trip: Azerbaijan>Georgia

by bdynkin » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:07 pm

Just got back from Georgia - hiking in Svaneti and trekking from Hevsureti to Tusheti. You can buy high quality modern 500-m scale topo maps in Tbilisi in a big book shop on Shota Rustaveli. You can also download soviet old military maps for free. I did this and they worked fine for me but I spent a lot of time getting the coordinates right for GPS. However, I guess you need to be able to read Russian for this option. :D

How to stay with local families? It's called guesthouses and it's very easy in Mestia and other touristy places. In Mestia, just go to the information bureau on the main square and an agent will find you a guesthouse. Typical price is 30 to 50 laries with meals. Ushguli form Mestia is easy but a bit pricey (80 laries) and long jeep ride (~ 3 hours).

Good luck! I wish I could go back!

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