Listening for the Alien Heartbeat

Armenia is not such a big place, and the North is full of mountains, forests and ancient lives:

Armenia - Man with donkey

so I decided the best way to see it would be, like Matsuo Basho in “Narrow Road to the Deep North”, to walk:

Armenia, Rolling_hills, longwalk

Started this morning, and the route covers about 500km, two mountain passes and a lake.

Armenia - Stone_bridge on road to Dilijan

The passes are snow-covered at this time of year but I have good gear.  Pack weight is about 16kg.

Armenia - snow mountain

The prevailing Armenian view seems to be “You’re crazy. Nobody  does this.”  Good enough.

Armenia - Chilly mountain road

By way of precaution I carry a big stick (for dogs), and a heavy Russian knife (for wolves) strapped to my ankles.

Armenia - Containers, green_blue, road from Haghartsin

And this time, a map.

(pictures above taken from first 4 days)

5 Responses to “Narrow Road to the Deep North”

    • alienheartbeat

      Yes, me also. But in the past it was locked in the Soviet Union. There are always some locked places – like now it is the North East of Pakistan, which is also remarkable.

  1. Caitrìona MacAllister

    I went there when it was the Soviet Union and I was in my teens. At that time, and now in memory, I remember the people’s friendliness and hospitality.

    Conditions look far worse, and the people look far poorer, than they did all those years ago.

    Thank you for this blog. I envy you your journeys.

  2. alienheartbeat

    Catriona, yes, there is no question of their hospitality. I have just been to Estonia, and the difference between the trajectories of these two countries since freedom is remarkable. Armenia has been beggared by war, the Turkish blockade, and a corrupt government. Estonia on the other hand has a government that is far-sighted and innovative, and this has made all the difference.

    • Caitrìona MacAllister

      Very, very sad. I’m not Armenian. Neither am I expert on the subject, so I’m the wrong person to comment on the situation. The poverty does make me terribly sad. There was so much hope….


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