Never refuse a Ch’ai


Long time has passed since the last post, but finding an internet connection is not always easy.

Beshtasheni was behind me and I was heading to Vardzia.  Again, people offered me help, a lift and some stopped just to make a selfie with me. A car with two guys stopped me: “You Stepani?” … What? Seriously?! Yes, I am Stepani! The little swiss girl has become a legend … it is said that she was dancing with the wolves …

Because the strong wind I decided to take another road and the fate made me meet Joni! This trip is crazy! There was nothing to do: I begged, I supplicate, but NOTHING! He loaded me into the car and he and his brother brought me to Vardzia.

Vardzia-7Vardzia was just what I needed: tranquility and peace. Even Nazi, the owner of the hotel was THE person I needed. She was cuddling me with her natural products like jams, honey, cheeses and teas. I think that telepathy with some people really exists. Some tourists asked me if I can Georgian … No, I can not! But me and Nazi we understood eachother perfectly. I stayed there 3 days. Vardzia-6


Happy tourist in tights.

Finally I was on the way to Armenia … and what for a way! The most demanding thing? Take a selfie …


Vardzia: on the way to Bavra.


When looking back can bring satisfaction.

After about 25 km I asked a young woman, who was hanging out the loundry, in which village I was: Okami. She didn’t hesitate a second and she offered me a tea (ch’ai). Josephine, the little voice jumped out: “Oh no Stef! You have to move on, it’s only 14:30! You’re already late on the roadmap! You have to think about the visas!” … I silenced Josephine and, as for magic, the story repeated again: me, my muddy shoes and beautiful people.



These people not only saved my day but they made it great! Thank you Salome, your beautiful family, friends and neighbours.

After about 20 minutes a hail storm dropped down and everything became white … it was really cold! Incredible, the ch’ai saved me! … Never refuse a ch’ai. I stayed in Okami one night. Ironically, the day after in Ninotsminda a ch’ai took me in a birthday party where young girls, dancing traditional music, offered me a piece of cake and big smiles.

Armenia-1Finally I was at the Armenian border. Wet and cold I made my way between the waiting trucks. A couple of stamps and I was in another reality. A completely different (and very difficult) language, friendly but very reserved people. The border policeman told me that I had not chance to find an accomodation in Bavra … he was right: I didn’t found an accomodation, but a lovely family … again! Asja is only 17 but she speaks fluently English and she has a big heart.

Bavra-3Soon she will start the university in Yerevan, therefore she has to leave her mother and brothers in the farm in Bavra … while I look at her and at her books stacked in the kitchen I can not stop thinking about how lucky I was during my studies … yes Stef, your life is simply wonderful and you have to savor every moment.



Now I’m in Gyumri … but I will tell you about it in the next post.

Lesson learned: a ch’ai can make the difference.

Alla prossima! Next stop: Yerevan.

Un abbraccio

Stef e Josephine





  1. por dios prima que espectacular experiencia estoy muy feliz de verte hacer este viaje cuantas historias , cuantos momentos algo increíble te felicito seguí adelante saca muchas fotos después vas a escribir un libro te mando muchos cariños aca estoy siguiendote muchos besos.


  2. Brava Stefania! Sembra proprio un bel viaggio intenso, come speravi. Stai facendo delle bellissime foto…si vede che sei ispirata…ti seguiamo (in modo figurato) e supportiamo…Brava!


  3. mitica stefi!
    grazie x condividere sul blog le emozioni che stai vivendo, i luoghi che stai attraversando e le persone che hai incontrato nel tuo viaggio. davvero grazie x i tuoi racconti emozionanti, sembra d viaggiare con te! assapora ogni istante e alla prossima difficoltà pensa ai momenti belli e insapettati già vissuti (che vedo sono già parecchi!) e troverai la forza d risolvere ogni inghippo:-)
    buona pedalata!


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