My Winter Hitchhike: To Tavoush – Nerkin Karmiraghbyur Village
The weather report for Tavoush Province predicted sunny days at the end of February. The meteorologists weren’t wrong. Sunny skies awaited me in Tavoush. Yes, it was still winter there, but compared to foggy and freezing Yerevan, it spoke to me of the coming spring. Passing through the town of Sevan, the weather abruptly changed for the better. I arrived at Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, a border village in Tavoush, as the sun began to set.
To reach Tavoush, I first had to leave Yerevan proper. The bus to Abovyan took me as far as the Norther Bus Station․
This car was headed to Charentsavan. The driver asked me to take a nice photo. I took several. He liked this one. “It’s different,” he said.
Changing cars a few times, I finally reached Sevan. Residents say the ice is fifteen meters deep. A few brave souls are trying their hand at ice fishing.
That’s me with the brown parka. I met a couple on the road. One was from Bukhara, the other from Bucharest. They may start with “bu”, but the first is in Uzbekistan, the second in Romania.
We continued on together.
A van delivering vodka stopped. The couple sat up front. I winded up in back with the boxes.
They “bribed” me with pastry and natural juice. I helped unload the boxes.
The driver did us a solid, taking us outside of Ijevan. It would be easier for us to flag down another vehicle.
The three of us go our separate ways at a place called Krivo
Onwards to Tavoush
Village of Aygehovit
I flag down a car near the village of Vazashen. It’s headed to Chinari. It’s getting dark. We have to ask directions but finally reach Tavoush village. They continue on. A car is on the way from Nerkin Karmiraghbyur to pick me up. (Thanks Narineh)
Home fries, village style.
Waking up to the crowing of village roosters.
Thirty children attend the Nerkin Karmiraghbyur kindergarten.
Little Nani has to ride all the seesaws in the kindergarten yard before going home.
All the kids in the village could probably fit in two or three cars like this.
The village lacks round the clock drinking water.
Every morning at 9, Hasmik and Garnik turn on the water for 45 minutes. “We get the water running for the village’s thirty households,” Garnik says.
Most of the village lands are in the field of vision of the Azerbaijani military. Residents still drive their animals to pasture along the risky routes.
Sousanna’s house, at the edge of the village and one of the closest to the border, is always a target.
My evening promenade through the village.
Nerkin Karmiraghbyur school.
I encountered a bunch of subtropical plants in the village. They’ve seemed to acclimatized well.
One morning, I went for coffee at Hasmik’s and Garnik’s house. The Azerbaijan border is 1-2 kilometers distant. Periodic gunshots could be heard.
The village municipal building.
It seems that artisans live in the village. I’ll write about this in an upcoming article.
I was about to say farewell to Nerkin Karmiraghbyur. Then I met this family and extended my stay. I’ll write about them at a later date.
With the warmer weather, the beehives are abuzz.
After school, the kids go up the mountains for a bite to eat. The boys then collect firewood, and the girls are busy setting the table.
The table is set. Let the barbecue begin.
To be continued