LifestyleOne man and his horse: Life in Europe's highest village

One man and his horse: Life in Europe's highest village

Bochorna is called the most isolated village in Europe.
Bochorna is called the most isolated village in Europe.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

7:12 AM EDT, June 3, 2024

Irakli Chvedaguridze is 84 years old and is the only resident of Bochorna, a village located in Georgia, a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The remarkable old man revealed why he still lives in this isolated corner.

Bochorna is located in southeastern Georgia, in the Akhmeta municipality. At an elevation of 7,694 feet, it is the highest settlement in the country and one of the highest in Europe.

The only resident of the isolated village

Bochorna is also considered one of the most isolated places in which to live. It is 50 miles from the city of Akhmeta. For years, It has been inhabited by one person: Irakli Chvedaguridze.

YouTubers visited the remarkable older man from the Yes Theory channel, who spoke with the 84-year-old about life at over 6,561 feet.

Others left Bochorna for good years ago, but Irakli stayed with his faithful horse, Bichola, his only year-round companion.

Interestingly, the older man, who has very poor eyesight, is a doctor who still practices his profession. He studied in Tbilisi and then worked in a hospital in another part of Georgia. Since 1979, he has been caring for Bochorna and the surrounding area.

When asked if he ever considered leaving Bochorna, he denied it. "You have to think about the well-being of others as well. I go to help people who are ill. Even when I am ill myself, I still put my hat on and get on that horse," he explains.

The region in which he operates includes 40 abandoned villages and 10 inhabited ones, many of which have a few year-round residents. In this mountainous region, people mainly engage in sheep farming. Most people leave the isolated area at the end of September and return in the spring when conditions are no longer extreme.

Helping others comes first

Irakli lives above 6,561 feet year-round and helps the residents of nearby villages whenever needed.

"My father, my grandfather, all my ancestors were born here. This area belonged to us," he said in an interview for National Geographic in 2022.

The man admits that it is hard when he is unable to help a patient because the illness or injury is too severe. That's when the isolation is most felt.

"I've had a few cases like that. A 14-year-old boy's palm was cut in the middle - there was blood everywhere, pouring like a fountain from the artery. We were holding his palm very tightly so it would stop bleeding and thank God, Shamila the pilot flew right away and took the kid. It was really critical for me, when you want to help a dying kid but you can't," he says.

The YouTubers emphasize that kindness and selflessness are evident at every step. Even the wine they brought him as a gift, he opens immediately and shares with his guests.

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