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Relive the day's action and insights with daily journal entries, digital photos, audio reports and more. Select one of the teams below to visit their latest entry.

FIELD TEAM
Follow Pat O'Hara's search for the perfect moment in the national parks of the Eastern Caucasus. Eleanor O'Hanlon reports, with photos by Russell Sparkman.

Research Team
Georgia veteran Peter Nasmyth returns to guide us into the history and heritage of the region. Denise Rocco captures it all in digital images.

April 29:
In Ancient Groves

April 28:
Batumi and Beyond

April 26:
Fly Tusheti Air

April 25:
An Image of Eden

April 24:
The Road of Friendship

April 22:
Patriarch of the Forest

April 21:
Monastery in the Desert

April 20:
Vashlovani Reserve

April 19:
The Living Pillar

April 18:
Preparing for the Journey

April 17:
Georgian Table

April 12:
Tbilisi Overview

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Previous Dispatch

From: Eleanor O'Hanlon
Location: Tbilisi
Date: April 18, 2000

Preparing for the Journey

The journey begins at the Tbilisi food market - a colorful caravanserai for food, packed with round white cheeses, shelves of yellow honey, tall piles of fresh walnuts. The tables are laden with fresh green herbs and earth-toned spices; I smell tarragon, coriander, cinnamon, fresh red meat and old human sweat. Such dark and vivid faces, so many voices, bargaining and bartering - how will I ever buy anything here?

Soso, our driver, tackles the market like a rugby player in a scrum. He smells, tastes and touches before he buys, accepts only the best, and bargains fiercely for the lowest price. We buy smoked Surghuni cheese, dried apricots and persimmons, walnuts, apples - and a fresh suckling pig. We need so much - there will be little food available at Vashlovani, an arid, stony wilderness on the Azerbaijani border and the first stage on our journey.

Back at the flat, Pat and I pack our boxes with food. Georgia is such a rich and dense country, I say.


Next Dispatch
 

SLIDESHOW: Market
 
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Shopping for Expedition Supplies and Food


Russell on the Road (38 sec.)
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russell.aif (Mac)


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Butchers in the Central Market
 
 



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