Dilijan didn’t amaze me at first. I loved the sceneries and mountainous landscapes connecting Kirovakan to Dilijan. But when I arrived in Dilijan, I felt the place was empty and sad. In the end, Dilijan became my great escape from Yerevan.
It would be unfair to associate what we feel at the moment to a beauty of a place. That was what happened to me. I headed to Dilijan to escape something from Yerevan. I was running away from feelings of confusions and being lost within my own beliefs.
Following the release of my interview with Dubai OFW where I said, “I am happy with what’s happening with my life right now – single, no commitments, no responsibilities. I am loving my freedom and independence nowadays.”
That statement from me was true. Not until one guy opposed everything and with his simple words it seemed that it affected me so much deep to the soul of my beliefs and emotions. I have come to a point that I have to think if I am just fooling myself around?
Dilijan was waiting for me. I don’t understand how come a countryside mostly recommended by others to be a nice place didn’t have any appealing impact to me. Same as when I reached the supposedly hostel but I found out it was a family hotel and I was the only guest to stay in that huge building. Again, I booked an entire hotel for 4000 amd. It seems Dilijan was prepared for me to have a retreat, a great escape from Yerevan.
As always, I told myself to choose to be happy wherever I am. It maybe hard, but I consoled myself to search for the beauty of Dilijan. The only option left for me to go around Dilijan is to hire a taxi for 10, 000 amd the next day. My aim is to see and enjoy Parz Lich and then I’ll return to Yerevan the next day.
Again and again, Parz Lich is a big disappointment for me. From the bumpy rough roads to a not crystal-clear lake waters, the more I feel disheartened.
The recreational activities such as ziplining, boating, shooting range are exceptional but I wasn’t after them. High expectations was killing me that time.
I went around the cottages and take a few walk convincing myself that it is good. I saw a established trail and tried to walk up for few minutes. And yeah, the adventure begins…
It comes with a sign board:
DILIJAN NATIONAL PARK
PARZ LICH LAKE to GOSHAVANK
I was all smile, energized and convinced that I am going go take this route. Dilijan surprised me with this. It was unplanned and I didn’t have any idea about this trail.
I paid the taxi driver 3000 amd for taking me from the hotel to Parz Lich and told him about my plan to take a hike. Going around, I tried to search for any person that I can go with but no one is going to Goshavank. I had my lunch and started the trail.
It says 7 kms. I know I can do it. I just have to be very careful not to be lost and hoping that there are no wild animals along the way.
Many times I told myself not to go deep in the forest alone. I have done the same in Udawattakele, Sri Lanka, in Brasov, Romania and in Tbilisi, Georgia. I never learnt my lesson though because in every end of each hike, I was happy and feeling recharged.
After 20 minutes of walking following the red marks, there’s a camping site. There were many tents, hammock, tools, camper van. This led me to curiosity. What is this? I got so interested because what I am seeing with my own eyes is a part of a life I wanted to live.
I met Tom. He told me about them but I have to interrupt him as I know very well what he is talking about. They’re the group I was dying to join with. I was really trying hard to join their group, but yes, their team is complete.
Never I expected that I will be in that campsite. I dreamt to be a part of Transcaucasian trail who are establishing a trail to connect Georgia, Armenia and Iran and that is around 1500 kilometers. And that’s what they are doing.
I told Tom that I was been e-mailing Ben, his brother that I wanted to join their team and that’s why I know about their group. I asked permission to look around and take photos. Tom was very kind enough to show me around.
A signboard says I am 6.4 kms away from Goshavank Monastery so I had to bid goodbye to continue the hike. I feel grateful how things turned up. There were so many surprises along the way till I come to my senses that I just kept on walking without following the red markings.
I had gone a long, long way and have to go back again till I found the red marks. It seemed I wasted 30 minutes being lost.
Remember the feeling of being lost in confusion and emotions? I forgot everything. It was diverted to physically being tired. And it is connected to how difficult to going back in track. But if ever I have to choose that time? I would choose not to find the right trail because I can go back where I came from. Rather that being crushed emotionally as it is difficult to go back to what is unseen.
Nevertheless, I continued. I passed through dirty road, paddles, creeks and bridges. I have to cross along lush green plants, trees where squirrels freely run after each other. Then I rested in a cottage as I approached a large meadow.
That was bliss. It was a recharge for me, alone in the valley, looking around a vast field of meadows, overlooking the surrounding mountains and nothing to think about. I knew what I wanted. I reconnected to my inner self.
As I continued, I was lost again between the three trails… I walked the three of them and the right trail heading to Goshavank is the third trail that I took. That was an effort again. But that was fine, I feel so whole that I could walk for few more kilometers.
I sent message to friends just to inform my location just in case I will be lost, but I know I won’t.
I walked a normal pace, I was heading to Goshavank Village. Few good friends were along the way to Dilijan and offered to take me from Goshavank Monastery.
I reached the Goshavank Monastey after almost 5 hours of walking. Friends visited the monastery as well and I joined them from there. I went back to Yerevan that day. I know I’m fine.
Dilijan is my great escape from Yerevan. It reminded me that I am still that introvert female solo traveler who loves to find peace in nature. My peaceful heart that was set in fire calmed.