Omalo: Isolation in the Hills

“Well, meet your obligations. But obligations never prevented anyone from following their dreams.”

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Omalo, which is in the mountainous region of Tusheti near the Russian boarder, is an isolated village which acts as the center point for the region. Made up of only a few dozen houses, the town has recently become a tourist attraction and is now composed of guest houses though the locals leave by October (only to return in June) due to the snow.

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All around the area are smaller villages composed of a few to a few dozen houses perched in different hillsides. I found these isolated communities to be a lot like the extremely isolated villages of Zanskar, though instead of footpaths, these villages are mostly connected by rough roads (or horse trails). We went for a hike one day to visit this small village which was a few hours away.

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These watch towers have been around since the Middle Ages and though these were the largest intact ones we saw, we encountered many smaller towers on our way up as well.

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Now the local economy is dependent on tourism, though there are also sheep and cattle herders throughout the area as well.

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