Ooh, drink you say. Don’t misunderstand. It’s no wine or vodka, whichever men claimed is the drink of longevity. Not in Borjomi. Miss Hoggy found out, the water in Borjomi not only quenches, but heals too. Some claimed it’s the very water to Life itself. Well, shall we explore the land of the healing water?
The colour of autumn has finally set in in Georgia. The yellowing leaves and the balding trees were very evident, especially on the road leading to Borjomi, the health water capital of Georgia since 1840. So, this slightly salty, slightly sulfuric water is now the health resort town to go to, for the cure of any health complaints. And to amp up this reputation of this Borjomi water, the bottled, carbonated version is the biggest export of Georgia. What a feat in a wine country.
Well, the water is not all the cure you need. The Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is what the doctor would order if you’re looking for amazing but tiring hike through fairy-tale-like forest. If walking on a dream like this isn’t good for the soul, then I don’t know what is.
So, Miss Hoggy’s troupe went on to hike a combined trail, of number 1 and 9 on a cloudy day, which proceeded to become quite a rainy day. Thus, being soaked to the bones in autumn and squishing our hiking shoes through the trudging mud turned out to be our undoing. As much as the trail reminded us of picturesque Disney animation called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Clumsy, Awkward and Random (our given dwarfs’ name) could no longer do the hike, not before we fall into the mud clumsily, awkwardly and randomly.
Ah Borjomi, Borjomi. In Borjomi, in a certain restaurant called Pesvebi, an old train station building where it was quite the party atmosphere, with party music and all that. Amazing food, nonetheless. And then out of the blue, our beloved Georgian DJ started blaring “Oppa, Gangnam Style”. We did do a proper Georgian toast with wine earlier to good health, maybe some horse dance maybe the answer to it? I don’t know, but with a few sip of some pretty strong wine, I found myself the attraction of the night dancing the horse dance, even singing to the song in its entirety.
So, it must’ve been pretty amusing to the locals, because they played it again and this time, I was expected to dance and sing to it, AGAIN! Which I did obliged after much persuasion. Hey, it was to good health.
What a weekend. So I did retire this weekend with some pretty sore lower limbs, coarse voice, and soaked clothing. But Borjomi was quite something. It did live up to its curative reputation. I’ve never walked more (literally), laughed more and danced more to Gangnam style ever in my life. And came out feeling so good!
Psst… If you ever go to Borjomi, go check the Mineral Water Park out. With 50 tetri entrance fee, the locals go there to procure the said water by the dozens off the public spring. And there’s a mineral spring fed swimming pool if you keep walking further into the park, maybe for about 3 km. Miss Hoggy’s sore legs just stopped short before finding the pool because there was a hill! But do check it out. More for good health.Facts: Borjomi is about 4 hours aways from Kutaisi. It is a mandatory marshrutka stop en route to Akhaltsikhe. It would cost you 8 laris. However, if you cannot get the earlier Akhaltsikhe marshrutka, take a Tbilisi bound marshrutka and stop over at Khashuri, a stop over town 30 mins away from Borjomi. It would cost you 10 laris, 2 laris extra from the Khasuri-Borjomi leg. We stayed over at a fellow English teacher’s home, which functions as a homestay. Alternatively, look for Marina’s, another expat’s favourite.