Just imagine a narrow ribbon of rails swirls between high multicolored rocks, in crevices and on the tops – greenery trees, and at the bottom on the precipice of the road noises milk-blue stream of the river Kurjips. Behind every turn of the rocky wall – then a waterfall, then a stone block, lurked like frozen fairy giants. Togo and look, in the rays of the sun, there will be an elf on horseback, or a matryacle troll will jump out of the cave that appeared in the distance.
Even in the middle of summer, there is a refreshing coolness: the temperature in the shade of the gorge rarely rises above 25 degrees. In spring, nature awakens in early March: snowdrops and bells bloom on mountain meadows, cherry blossoms with fragrant green carpet.
Is it any wonder that my nine-year-old son called this place the best place on the planet and offered to settle here immediately and forever! Intrigued? It’s time to see the gorge with your own eyes.
How to get there?
The Guam Gorge is located on the northern part of the Lago-Gnaki plateau: far enough from the sea and familiar to all ski resorts not to become a jaded attraction. However, this place is known to true connoisseurs of natural beauty.
You can get into the gorge from two different sides, from the villages of Guam and Mezmai. It is more convenient from the first: a tourist train starts to move here, which departs every hour from the ticket offices.
The nearest airport is in Krasnodar (150 km from Guam).
Next, the bus Krasnodar – Apsheronsk, then – a taxi or bus to the village of Guamka.
If you have the rights, it is best to rent a car right at the airport. Prices for cars in Krasnodar start from $50 per day. So you can not only quickly get to Guam but also comfortably travel around the neighborhood.
Where to stay
In the villages closest to the gorge, there are guest houses offering rooms for different budgets. Five-star hotels you will not meet, but it is quite possible to accommodate in comfortable rooms with all the amenities. Guam has car camping and even glamping for those looking for opportunities to merge with nature culturally.
Here are a few options:
Hotel Guamka – from $8 per night per person;
Guest house Kurshewel – from $60 per night per person;
Mezmay Hotel – from #30 per night per person.
The gorge stretches for 9 km from Guam to Mezmai. About 3 km along the river stretches rocks rising 400 meters above the water. Previously, the whole way could be done on a tourist train. But in 2011, part of the railway was destroyed by a landslide, and now it can only reach the stop “Cafe 1707” – that’s about a quarter of the way. Further, you can (and should!) walk through the pleasant eye of the hills and groves along the river. If you have the strength, I recommend stocking up on provisions, go all the way to Mezmay, and get back by taxi. And if you want to walk from Guam, choose to hike on Tuesday, or early morning and late evening – at this time, the train does not go, and during the hours of its operation, no one will let you on the active part of the rails. After all, some narrow places between the train, rock, and cliff will not fit even the most slender pedestrian.
The cost of a one-way train ticket is from $1.5-$2. Children under 7 are free. There is an audio guide in the carriages so that you will hear a story about the history and biological features of this place during the half-hour traffic along the route.
It is best to walk through the gorge on a sunny afternoon: especially spectacular look rails and waters of Kurjips in the light of rays breaking through the rocks what you need for atmospheric photos in the counter light!
Legends about the origin of the name of this place are imbued with quiet sadness. According to one of them, Guam is the name of a beauty who once lived here. He fell in love with her cruel and insidious Thunder. But the girl’s heart has already been given to the noble Eagle. Osergav, Thunder threw lightning at his rival as he sat with his sweetheart on top of a cliff. Lightning hit the heart of the Eagle and split the rock in half. And at its foot flowed the river from the tears of Guam, which lost a loved one.
The other version is more prosaic but not more fun: in the Adygean language, ” Guama” means “unpleasant to the heart.” Probably, the ancient inhabitants were frightened by the shady gorge of the rocks.
That’s how much – 1,707 meters – stretches the railway line from the beginning of the tracks in Guam to the cafe. Here are ready to relatively budget feed visitors from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
An open-air climbor
Do you want to conquer the sheer cliffs with insurance under the supervision of an instructor? For only $4, you will be given this opportunity, offering a choice of three levels of difficulty.
And if the soul asks for an absolute extreme, welcome to the trolls (assuming you are over 14 years and lighter than 120 kg). The top is more authentic, for $3. The bottom is shorter, $2 per person.
Offer a classic set of commemorative trinkets and magnets. And near the parking lot in Guam, you can get great local food: smoked fish, honey, cheese (be sure to buy here a couple of heads of Adygea).
Ssurroundings of the gorge
I recommend giving this wonderful place at least a couple of days and exploring the gorge itself and its surroundings.
Perfectly relax after a long walk through the mountains. The most famous baths with healing hot water are at the bases of Niagara, Aquarius, H2O in Nizhny Novgorod, and Red Dagestan. In addition to equipped paid pools, there are also wild springs with hot water, but use them for swimming is not recommended because the temperature and composition of the water here can be unpredictable.
The cave with an unusual echo is located three hundred meters from the center of the village of Guamka. The path to it begins from the cafe on the tourist base “Nut Grove.” Not only is the grotto with interesting acoustics noteworthy, but also the way to it – you have to go up through the relic samshit grove. Unfortunately, now there are very few living samshits: an invasive species of caterpillars destroyed the population of trees. So, sadly, perhaps now is the last chance to see the ancient samshits in this area.
You can get to it by trail from Guam. Do not be afraid to go up: it is easy to walk, on the way you can arrange respite, admiring the opening views. According to legend, near this cave in the 16th century lived a monk, healing people with water from a waterfall. Try to heal yourself! And let there is no guarantee that it will be possible to cure all ailments, but a walk through these beautiful places is guaranteed to give you peace of mind and serenity.