Top: World's first 360-degree Panorama of Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia, Feb 24/2009, from 12 separate photos...

Thursday, 1 May 2008

The 4th week of March saw intrepid Lasha and Levan from Rustavi 2 TV arrive in Ushguli, driven by their man Dato. But their car, despite being a Niva, didn't make it all the way to the village at all, prevented by a metre of snow which fell over 2 days. Instead it died about 7 km below, along with the car of the village's gamgebeli, or governor, who had met them en route. Both parties slept in their cars, then the next day a number of villagers went out to meet and help them. I joined the last such group, feeling very much like someone needed to quip, "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"

Back in Ushguli after the arrival, TV Week, top to bottom:

Dato (my host) shovelling snow off a barn roof to prevent its collapse. I did some of this too - hard work but one can see one's progress in a most satisfying way

Lasha and Levan, reporter and camerman, left & right; between them, Simba the champion Caucasus Shepherd dog of my host family

My boot for scale showing the thickness of the ice canal (up to 1 m thick elsewhere) which had accumulated from a small stream outside our house

Head of a horse which died

Lasha and Levan examining recent footage

They thought they'd stay for a couple of days, but in the end it was a week, with a 10-day power outage. Eventually I'll post a link here to the great little 6-minute national TV feature which resulted from their visit, but first I must add English subtitles to it. Lasha and Levan became my new friends, and I seem to have become a somewhat more recognisable face across the country, judging by people's reactions to me now.

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