Straddling the Barhal Çayı just above its junction with the Çoruh, YUSUFELI is a gritty, rather time-warped town living under a death sentence; if funds ever permit construction, it will disappear under the waters of the highest Çoruh dam, and accordingly nothing new has been built here since the 1970s. Traveller opinion on the place is sharply divided: some can’t wait to see the back of it, hitching out at dusk to avoid staying the night, while others, en route to or from the Kaçkar mountains, end up spending a few nights here and making a day-trip up one of the nearby river valleys.