An Image of Eden
The green breath of spring. Mountain air, cool and weightless. And the ceaseless sound of rushing water pouring in my ears. I walk a path dappled with morning light, filtered through the branches and young green leaves of the great beech trees which rise high above my head.
Soon the trail gets steeper and sharper. I slide over exposed roots still slick from last night's rain, grasp at rocks soaked in spray. I am glad not to be a photographer Pat O'Hara and Russell Sparkman are carrying heavy packs of photo equipment over fallen trees and wet leaves. Vazha walks easily ahead. He is the director of this nature reserve of Lagodekhi and seems to know every inch of the climb. Sometimes he stops and hauls me over huge boulders. Once he stamps footholds into soil and wet leaves so that we can cross a steep exposed slope. I look down at the cold gray water coursing below, take a deep breath to steady my legs and follow him.
I can't turn back - the trail is taking us to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Lagodekhi.