Adventure Armenia: Hiking and Rock Climbing
Carine Bachmann and Jeffrey Tufenkian
Kanach Foundation, 2004, 116 pages, US$16.95
Carine Bachmann and Jeffrey Tufenkian take the mystery, but not the fun, out of hiking in Armenia with the publication of their book, Adventure Armenia: Hiking and Rock Climbing (Kanach Foundation, 2004). They, along with a cadre of volunteers, created and tested the twenty-two day hikes and four rock climbing sites featured in the book.
Armenia, a former Soviet Republic, lacks the infrastructure to enable hikers and climbers to spend more time actually trekking and climbing rather than searching for a good location. The hikes are geared towards the average person of normal physical abilities. Each hike and climb offer a detailed brief including driving directions from the capital city, Yerevan, walking time, detailed maps and route descriptions, GPS coordinates for hi-tech hikers, equipment needs, experience levels, route descriptions, and directions on how to get to the sites are all covered.
Added bonuses are photographs, historical details, and other places of interest along the hike.Along with enjoying the rugged scenery, hikers will also be able to explore the many historical and natural monuments that dot the countryside. Hike #1 is a 10 km trek between two monasteries. In between, the hiker can explore three villages, a fortress, a church, and a waterfall. The majority of the hikes take between 2.5 and 3.5 hours to complete and can be enjoyed as part of a day trip out of the city. Others can be included as part of a multi-day trip and information about camping, water sources, and accommodations are provided.
Ecotourism and Armenia’s current environmental situation are included in this book. The authors provide eco-friendly advice on how to enjoy your outing while minimally affecting the world around you. It is interesting to learn how and why the environment is in the state it is in. They also provide websites and resources for those who want to learn more.
As a nice boost to the local economy, the book was designed and printed in Armenia. Sized to fit easily in a backpack, it should stand up to wear and tear with its thick paperback cover and heavyweight paper.
(c) 2005 Susan Smith Thompson
Originally published in the Spring 2005 edition of RestlessMe.com. Click here to see it.