I’m in Georgia, and it’s beautiful

A climb up to 2550 metres and then a big downhill, it’s a beautiful way to say goodbye to Turkey. I’m so happy I took the mountain road through Posof into Georgia.

One last challenge though and it sums up Turkish roads, you can be on the most beautiful asfolt road then 5km later you are pushing your bike through a million pebbles. Why can’t they just complete a road in Turkey?!I’ve got the “New Country Nerves” going on. What is the food like, will the roads be good, are the drivers crazy and most importantly what are the people like? It’s burning questions like these that keeps the hunger to travel.In Georgia now… The language is confusing, the characters are from another planet and everything seems different. I love it.

Crazy dogs on border, someone nearly hit me with a car. I started worrying I wouldn’t like Georgia, no need to worry. The people are different, the architecture has completely changes but it’s a fascinating and charming country.

First stop on the road to Tbilisi was a bit of sightseeing. In Akhaltsikhe was this beautiful restored castle. We had the place almost to ourselves, which definitely added to my appreciation of the place.

Lakes, nunnery’s selling cheese, racing kids on their bikes. The road to Tbilisi was amazing. I took the route along Lake Paravani and I’m so glad I did. The roads were quiet and in good condition and everyone along the way was in good spirits. It still feels very different to Turkey, but change is good.

If culture was a house, language is the key that unlocks all the doors… And I can’t even remember hello. But that doesn’t seem to matter in Georgia. It was getting to camping time and a crazy old man in a rural area motioned me to come inside. It turned out he was an ex professional ballet dancer. After he showed some moves (maybe an arabesque?!), the cheese and red wine came out.

Georgians like to drink. Drink, drink, drink. No matter what time of day or for what occasion. Cycling down a hill at 8am, I see a water spring in the distance. I assume the people are there to fill up water bottles also. Nope, they are having an impromptu drinking session. They were the trolls and the road was our bridge. To pass we must drink the dreaded chacha, a gag inducing shot. After a few shots and some tomatoes, we were granted permission to continue, although a little more unstable.

With a big scary downhill and lots of braking. I made it to Tbilisi and it’s madness… heat, humidity and crazy cars. I had a good feeling. I found Hostel Romantik, a recommendation from another cyclist. At just £3 a night including free wine and free dinner, you can imagine the state of the place. But it’s serving a great purpose – cheap, cheerful and a base to wait for my package from home with all my bike parts. Hopefully I’ll get another blog post up before I leave for Azerbaijan.


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