Walked today up to Haghartsin Monastery, near the top of a tree covered mountain. A beautiful walk, the Autumn road lined with carpets of red, and the trees still dressed in yellow that had not yet fallen. In some places so dense it seemed like a mist:
There was the sound of a stream and ice in the air. There were snow-covered mountains nearby, but I wasn’t going that high:
Around lunchtime I reached Haghartsin, a monastery built about 800 years ago and whose name means Dancing Eagles. A nice place, being ill-restored, and somewhat overrun by very pleasant cows:
Even so it had a certain timelessness:
and people still came to its ancient chapels to make offerings:
The walk back was 12km mostly downhill, and by the time I reached the bottom of the mountain I had two blue toes.
I rejoined a main road populated by dogs with anger-management issues. At one stage I was surprised by a pack of 5 or 6 nasty looking canines charging at me out of a gate. I swung my big stick and roared at them. To my amazement it worked. Perhaps they sensed I had spent long periods in countries where bad dogs get eaten, or perhaps people in Armenia just don’t roar at dogs. In any event they backed off in total disarray.
I would have liked to have taken off my boots as I was really limping now, but the cold and the dogs meant no: every few hundred meters I would get menaced by a couple of large hairy specimens, and would have to swing the big stick at them and growl “come on you miserable punks, make my day”. I was unsure if this would have been as convincing bootless.
In the end, none of them decided they wanted to make my day and I limped home late. I hadn’t had lunch so stopped for a snack of bread and whey. But for the evening I decided that some meat-eating would be in order.
(events 14 Nov 2012)