Shaori Lake and Big Macs

Welcome back to the Saqartvelo (Georgia in Georgian) updates. I realize I’ve been slightly sketchy with the relevant news here in the Land of Wine. (Side not: yes, Georgia is historically the first country to produce gvino aka wine in Georgian. You can thank them later for that life changing innovation.) So with no further ado, here’s the latest life update of camping at Shaori Lake:


This weekend, 27 PCVs in total went to Shaori Lake. It’s a reservoir in the west of Georgia up near the border of Russia and Georgia. From my site, it took about 4.5 hours, with an overnight in the old capital of Georgia, Kutaisi.

Night View of Kutaisi

Shoti's Puri Magician

Shoti's Puri Magician

Shoti's Bread Magician

Panorama of Shaori Lake

Anneke Frog Hunting

Walking Group Photo (Not the whole group)

Anneke's Success

New Friend Decided not to be Photogenic

Panorama of Shaori on our Walk

Old Tower in Shaori Lake with no Bridge

Close-up of the Camping Huts

Friday night, I split from work to catch an early marsh (marshutka = small bus and pretty much the only form of public transport outside of the capital). I made it in time for a McDonald’s cheeseburger and happy hour with Betsy’s crew. As a heads up, McDonald’s here in Georgia is the complete opposite of that in America. It’s expensive, well furnished/clean, and has unlimited and extremely fast WIFI. Post mass caloric intake, we made it to “happy hour” on top of Gori’s mountain and then continued the celebration at another café in town. Going to Kutaisi/Batumi/Tbilisi is sort of a letting your hair down time in that you can openly drink alcohol, which is frowned upon in my small conservative site as a female.


Next morning, we headed out to Shaori to set up tents and let the real festivities begin. We all swam in the lake, which has little fish that nibble on your toes and arms. It doesn’t hurt but still is creepy. I mean, you can’t see much in the algae filled lake, so who knows if Jaws or its mutated cousin is lurking below the surface! After swimming, we cooked veggies and a whole chick on the fire, drank jugs of gvino, and played various card games. Luckily, no major accidents and the only thing of notice was a supra and dancing contest we had with the cops that were “guarding” us the entire night. This is Georgia, where the cops are some of the best supra-ing buddies.

Morning at Shaori

Full View of the Rock Face

Money Shot of Mountain View of Tkbuli

View on the way to Tkbuli

Next day, everyone loaded up our stuff, and we headed out. The west Georgia crew made another stop at the glorious American delight of McDonald’s before taking the marsh back home.


This post definitely doesn’t do the majesty of Shaori justice, so just look at the pictures and breath in the fresh, non-smoggy air of Racha! For the whole Flickr album, click here!


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July 2019
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PC Disclaimer:
Jessica Craven works as an Individual and Organizational Development Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia. The contents of this Peace Corps blog are the intellectual property of Jessica Craven and do not reflect the position, opinion, or views of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.