Devil’s bridge. Won’t you be alarmed by the name? At the same time it is intriguing why it is named like that. Yes, I hated the name of the place, but still, I wanted to see it. I am talking about the Devil’s bridge of Armenia located in Syunik Province around 6 km from Tatev Monastery.
Devil’s bridge or what they call in Armenia as Satani Kamurj is a miraculous formation of nature formed along the Vorotan River Canyon. How does it look? I really don’t know because I haven’t seen it with my own eye. But I will share to you a glimpse of how beautiful it is. And how difficult to reach it as a solo traveler.
I was able to catch the 9am bus from Tatev Village. I went down at Vorotan (200 amd bus fare.) It was around 9:20 am. When I arrive, one group (3 persons) just came from down and they’re heading to Dilijan. The lady said it is beautiful down there. I asked if there are other groups who are there, she said no one.
As much as I love solo travel, I doubted at that time. I don’t have the guts to go down alone. It’s good to be surrounded by nature but not with big rocks and gushing water plus the name, Devil’s bridge.
I’d been thinking to call my host to follow and accompany me. I’m tempted to send message to new facebook friends to come. But I didn’t. I just sat there hoping that a group of tourists will come. Some cars just passed by and some stopped asking if I’m going to other place. Finally, after 30 minutes a Russian couple came.
I had a glimpse of hope that I can see the travertines with them. We went down together. I know what I wanted to see . The stalactites, stalagmites and the travertines. What we explored is far from what I expected. We saw only a waterfall then the river. The couple invited me to go with them to Goris. But, I stayed.
I bid goodbye to the couple and went back to check the place. Where the hell is that Devil’s bridge. I wanted to see it as soon as possible so I can leave the place. I’m not really comfortable with the name and being alone.
But wait, I am on the right place? I phoned my guide before asking where’s the way to the cave? He said that I have to go down through a rope. Rope? Yes, through a rope. I can’t find any rope.
He told me that after a pool, I have to walk a little more. He sent me photos and yes, I have found the rope on a cliff.
It bothered me how will I do that alone? Just looking down scares me. I won’t do it alone.
I waited for somebody to come and felt bored. There’s a viewing point on the other side of the road. Instead of waiting, I took photos of the mountain and river views.
I saw there’s a building from afar. My plan? I’ll go there and ask if somebody can go down with me. But there’s a car that stopped with 4 male passengers. They’re inviting me. I asked if they’ll go down but they don’t speak English. I wanted to show them the rope, but my instinct says no.
Waiting again on the side of the road, it’s 11 am already. Weather forecast says it will rain. I was getting frustrated already until another car came. They’re couple. Then they wore their ID.
I had a glimpse of hope, though communication is too difficult. They managed to explain to me that the husband will show me down the river and it is beautiful.
To make sure, I phoned my host to help us understand each other.
With the name of the place, I had doubts and fears. But I went with the guide. He knows every step. I don’t know how to follow instruction as always. He was telling me where to step. I felt he was getting impatient with me and by gestures he was telling me to follow him as he knows the place very well.
Following an instruction is better. Never I have done in my life to cling on a rock, though there are steps. Then with the help of the rope, we have to go down through stairs.
I was trying to trust the guide but at the back of my mind, I was too afraid. I was thinking maybe I’ll be offered to the devil’s bridge. Or anything might happen. I wasn’t happy with solo traveling at all that time.
I kept the faith. The place seemed so eerie for me. Yes, it is beautiful but I was scared. The guide was telling me there are three caves.
Exploring the first cave awed me but I cannot deny the feeling of fear. In order to pass by, we have to pass through a small hole with pointing stalactites from above and pebbles on the ground. Some parts were slippery but the guide showed me where to step.
That’s it, I saw the incredible travertines of Armenia. My fears were alleviated. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of what I’ve seen. They’re real. I was there. Its incredible. Wonderful. I was awed. This is the second travertine I’ve ever seen. They’re stunning.
I was very careful in every step I took with fears that I might damage the delicate limestone formations. I drank from the flowing mineral l water. It tasted good. I even wanted to take a bath.
That was the second cave. The water flows from the river is ravishing. There’s still a third cave. But in order to reach it, one must have to swim. And from that third cave is where you can reach the Devil’s bridge. No thanks. I’ve invested too much fear for the two caves. I’m happy with them.
Though I’m still interested to see with my own eyes the Devil’s bridge, but not now, Maybe in the future if they change already the name. Or maybe when I can go with somebody that I can really entrust my life. For now, Devil’s bridge, just keep yourself remain a mystery to me.
Every step matters while trying to see the Devil’s bridge. Taking a guide to explore this magnificent place is a must.
A huge thanks to Kachatur and Marine for showing me this amazing creation so I can share it with you as well. Their contact number is 094-280526.