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2019.10.09 14:00

Sharing biscuits with wild dogs on a 2,500km hike from Vilnius to Tbilisi

LRT TV, LRT.lt2019.10.09 14:00

Niko Amirgulašvili was born into a Georgian family in Lithuania and often jokingly calls himself Georgia's ambassador. To celebrate his double heritage, Niko decided to make a journey from Vilnius to Tbilisi – on foot.

“When I'm in Lithuania, everyone asks me about life in Georgia and when I'm there, I'm being asked about life in Lithuania,” Niko tells LRT TV programme ‘Labas rytas, Lietuva’.

As an ambassador of sorts, it's his duty to build bridges, he thought, and why not incorporate his favourite activity, hiking? And so Niko set out on a 2,500-kilometre journey from Vilnius to Tbilisi, on foot.

Lithuania and Georgia enjoy very close relations and also share a determination to resist Moscow's influence, and Lithuania vocally supported Georgia during the 2008 war with Russia.

“It's great that the two countries get on well. But they are very different, too,” Niko says, adding that he himself has qualities characteristic of both nations.

He says he is able to hold his nerve at work, but his Georgian side makes him prone to open expression of emotion.

His hike from Vilnius to Tbilisi took 69 days. He met many people on his journey and not a single one of them was mean, he says.

“In Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Georgia everyone was great. Sure, there were also challenges. I had to deal with wild dogs that I shared biscuits with, I fell ill in Ukraine,” he says.

Niko would travel around 40 kilometres a day, although once he walked over 60 kilometres.