The Big Ride

Georgia: Winter is coming….

Puncture Count
Tasty food, Tbilisi, Sulfur Bath, Can have a beer again!
Terrible drivers, Less friendly people, Drinking culture, Relentless honking, Bad whether, Headwind, 1st puncture!
Things we are loving
Khachapuri (Cheesey filled pastry), Mystery Meat (If I knew I'd write it), Khinkali (Meat & Broth Filled dumplings)

So just to make sure we are all on the same page we are talking about the country not the state in America! We never intended to visit this little country when planning our trip, as we assumed we would be cycling through Iran. However, new rules came into force and individuals with British passports can no longer get visas for independent travel. Turns out that us Brits are not so popular in that part of the world! So although we were disappointed about not travelling to Iran we continued north and headed into Georgia – a country we had very little knowledge of.


The first thing that stuck us when we crossed the border from Turkey was that everyone was driving old Mercedes E-types apart from the police who have mini coopers! They were everywhere. Cars regularly were missing bumpers or in a state of serious disrepair. And all cars, not just old clunkers, new BMWs, Benzes, everything. The people also looked very different from the Turks. Churches also replaced Mosques, and the Georgians are a devout, religious people. Often stopping as they pass a church to make the sign of the cross 5 times or so. As Georgia was the second country (first was Armenia) to officially adopt Christianity in the 3rd century!

Our destination was Batumi, which is a city on the Black Sea coast, and was only a short ride from the border. The ride was a pretty one though, you could see snow-peaked mountains to the east and we were hugging the pebbly coastline for most of the way, so we had the Black Sea to the West. Once we got closer to the city we realized that the Georgians were just as bad as the Turkish at driving, if not worse! One interesting thing we did spot several times on the way into the city was women sat on little stools on the roadside with a small table in front of them; they were basically a tiny little convenience store on a stool! They seemed to sell cigarettes, chewing gum, tissues and some snacks and that is it!

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