I crossed to the Vayots Dzor region: from the fire further into the furnace. A land of extremes, with even hotter days, rocks jutting up to the sky. Dry, burnt grasses darted with patches of green trees and shrubs. I wandered through the mountains until I reached the village of Gomk. What seemed like a wasteland of an abandoned village turned out to be a village in the midst of rebirth; they had discovered the financial rewards of tourism, building new rooms, offering food, tours, and highlighting the natural and man-made wonders of their region. They were moving prosperously forward, and good for them. My only concern was that they were playing with cultural fire, crossing a very thin line: Armenians are historically famous for their hospitality, for treating every guest to the best they can afford, and never dreaming of taking anything in return, for that would be disgraceful. But now with tourism, these values are eroding, and it’s not clear what is paid for and what is a treat. I suppose it’s the cost of progress, and I’m not sure what the right way is, but I’m hoping a cultural and economic compromise will be made and an equilibrium reached. Only time will tell.