Fine Hiking (Never Mind the Troop Movements)
I’ll strike this up to strange timing. On the same day of reports of increasing tensions between Russia and Georgia, including Russian troop movements along the Russian/Georgian border and an increase of Russian forces in the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, CNN runs a piece on… wait for it… the joys of hiking along the Russian/Georgian border. Huh?
Anyway, I guess if you are not enticed by the descriptions of “snow-swept crags straining up into the rush of clouds” or intrigued by the stories of dining on boiled sheep’s fat, then maybe the whole cross-border conflict and geopolitical tensions thing might interest you.
The CNN piece does contain these “tips,” by the way:
Russia’s North Caucasus is a volatile, corrupt and mind-boggling place, a mix of mindsets that is one part holdover Soviet bureaucracy, one part clan-driven, xenophobic distrust, one part anti-terrorist police policies. The rewards are immense if you have a thick skin, willingness to grease a palm or two, and the patience to weather capricious bureaucracy.
Yeah, and don’t forget the armies on the move.
Somebody call Robert Young Pelton.