We started our first day of hiking with a delicious breakfast of fresh breads, home made apricot jam, honey from the local bee hives, and fresh fruit including cherries and apricots.
As we meandered out of the village, we encountered a local villager picking flowers to dry for teas by a Turkish tomb. He then joined us on the trail for a little while. From one of my fellow hikers, I learned more about Armenia teas that include flowers and mint grown in the mountains.
The wild flowers and vistas were beautiful. It was challenging on many parts of the trails as the last few weeks of rain had turned sections of them into mud. I added a new skill that I call “mud skiing” as at times going down a hill you had to glide your way down and go with the slipping rather than try to have firm footing.
Along the way, we would see various herds of animals. The number of horses surprised me and after reading more, I found out that Armenia has a long history of breeding horses.
We made our way to the abandoned village of Chermakavan (translates to “white church”) and stopped for lunch. We then returned to the trail and hiked through the forest to Gosh lake, where we set up camp for the night.