At my breakfast the family receives a women that did catch my attention immediately. She looked tired and somehow sad, rarely she had a smile, but was really involved in the conversation of the family. The yong sun, maybe 2 years old was playing with his tablets listening to cartoons and couldn’t realize that the grand grand mother was calling him just to be able to give him a good morning kiss. It seemed to me that there was at least 3 generations separating the 2. I continue drinking my tea, when the hostess comes and have breakfast also with me. Carefully I did ask how old was this woman. She answered that she was 82 years old and every day she goes up in the mountains walking at least 8 km to just grab some herbs, plans, flowers and maybe sometime some fruits. Every day she brings that back in the village and try to sell them to be able to pay her rent or whatever she needs per month.
I am walking just for my own pleasure, not having at this moment any stress of the daily life nowing that in 2 weeks from now, I wont walk 15 km per day. I find it quite demanding physically and morally. I wonder how this brave women keeps up this rhythm every day without complaining. She’s maybe used to it, but nevertheless I think the body must just every night before going to bed scream for a rest. Because mine do. Unfortunately again this night I slept beeing totally frozen. I even did put my winter hat to be able keep my head warm. I must say I had to laugh because I had in front of my eyes those fairytales where we can see old man going to bed with hat on his head! Well when there’s no heating in the house, having a hat even at night is quite important!
I calculated my time to climb the montain from Areni to Noravank, a monastery at 1600 meters. I have this feeling that almost all Armenian church are somewhere situated far up in the montains! From my place I had to calculate a good 9 km with a dénivellation of 600 meters. Which as mater of fact I forgot to take in considaration. I wanted absolutely to arrive at sunset, because I wanted to see the monastery under great colors. So I had to wait at least until 3 considering that the sun sets at 7 and it should take me a good 3 hours to get there. At the village the sun was hart letting me forget the cold wind. we were almost with t-shirts! Before starting, I forced my self to take my windstoper and with a decisive walk started my journey.
First, I stoped where they are doing some excavations, it is at the feet of Noravank that they have found some settlements of the oldest wine factory. And then I started my assention. At first the sun was still warming the street but when I arrive in canyon the sun disappeared in the wind did blow as strong as it could. Good I had my windstoper but unfortunately I forgot to bring a hat. That was a big mistake! The canyon are great and I did feel quite small toward the nature. What a force can creat such canyon! And there in the middle of those canyons stands the monastery. I did pray, meaning, I took some time to meditate of the meaning of life, and also my purpose in this life.