Have I mentioned CBT yet?
CBT [link] or Community Based Tourism is a project-baby of two very talent Peace Corps Volunteers - one who happens to be the only other Az6 extendee.
The idea is that tourists traveling to Azerbaijan can engage in a unique and culturally fantastic tour of the country, staying in local's homes and enjoying experiences off the beaten path. Even better, a sizable chunk of the money goes to the local family/community with very little overhead paying for administrative costs. It is so totally worth it...
So, why am I talking about this? Well, because last week, I got to see the birthplace of CBT up close and personal while visiting this other Az6. Unfortunately, I was battling a head cold, so I did not get to do all the cool stuff other CBTers get to do, but I still had a fantastic time. Although a lot of people tell me Gusar looks a lot like Zaqatala, I have to tell you, it is uniquely different. The low rolling hills, cool temperatures, and the streets full of people speaking in Lezgi sure make the community stand out on its own.
Definitely worth a visit if you ever make it to Azerbaijan, check out the warm and friendly accommodations offered by CBT Gusar [link].