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BUBA TRAIL: SHOVI - BUBA HIGHLAND GRASSLANDS

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ROUTE

Shovi is one of the famous mountain health resorts of Georgia. It is located on the southern slope of the Main Caucasian Range in the Chanchakhi River (the River Rioni's left tributary) gorge at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level, on the 31st km of the Oni-Mamisoni highway.

The rivers flowing into the Chanchakhi catchment are replenished by the Caucasian glaciers. Most important of them are the Buba and Tbilisa rivers which take source in the area of 4000 m high mountains - Karaugomi, Buba, Tbilisa and Chanchakhi and at their approaches form a magnificent view together with the open boundless alpine grassland.

Shovi is famous for a variety of curative mineral waters and a great diversity of landscape. Its neighbourhood is very popular with mountain tourists and climbers.

Distances, by car, km:  
  Shovi - Oni (the district centre) 31
  Shovi - Tbilisi 350
Route type: Radial pedestrian or horseback
Length (in one direction), km: 6
Trip duration, hours: 4 - 5
Route altitudes, m, beginning/end: 1750 - 2000
The highest point, m 2300
Track Type: Path
Flora: Fur, pine, maple, wild pear
Fauna: Chamois, ibex, roe deer, trout
Recommended period: 15 June - 20 September
Marking: On rocks, boulders, birch-trees

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DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE

The route starts from Mamisoni (1) hotel in Shovi (see the map). The path runs along the right bank of the Bubura River and for about 500 meters follows a water pipe on the left side of the road. There is an acidic water spring (2) on the way. On leaving the stream (3) the path turns to the north and at an altitude of 1900 m forks into two branches (4). The route runs along the right-hand branch. In the forest you can see a gigantic pear-tree (5). To the left of the path 50 meters off there are the ruins of the Buba Cross Church (6). From the woody slope the path leads into fields and at an altitude of 1950 m it levels out. From here you can see the Chkhota gorge (7) to the south, the Shoda Ridge (8) to the west and the Buba mountain massif (9) to the south. At an altitude of 2100 meters you can see shepherdÂ’s huts (10). Then the path crosses a stream, runs through the birch grove and climbs up the alpine pastures (11).

Here a magnificent panorama of the Buba-Tbilisa section of the Main Caucasian Range (12) comes into view. The route ends at an altitude of 2300 m by the marked boulder. But depending on your physical abilities, you can continue the route in any direction. The territory is quite safe and pleasant to walk. For example, you can climb up to the nearest ice stream which might take you another two or two and a half hours.

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