Tabatskuri Lake is a high alpine lake that is one of the deepest and most beautiful in the Republic of Georgia. The village of Tabatskuri sits on the shore of the lake.   It’s populated by ethnic Armenians who make their living by farming, growing potato, and some fishing which is restricted.

In the fall of 2010, the villagers learned that they could no longer fish in the lake because the fishing license had been auctioned that September by the Ministry of Economy in some questionable deal. The villagers knew nothing about this auction and say they would have bought the license themselves had they known about it. After fishing became restricted, Residents of Tabatskuri have lost their traditional livelihood, local men started to migrate abroad.   It is estimated that 80% of the able men have moved to Russia in order to find work.

The family we met was extremely arm and welcoming. It was interesting to see that despite the rough conditions and scarcity of local resources, the family’s home was well equipped. We brought along some bread and cheese and enjoyed a lovely lunch with warm  fresh khachapuri, and homemade jams. What a great way to end our trip to Western Georgia. A fascinating country which remained more veiled than uncovered -may be calling for a return trip sometimes in the future.

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