Day 247: Batumi> Ozourguéti
We take the road not passing on the highway that we usually take but rather on the country roads / mountains allowing us to find fresh air and landscapes much more interesting of what we had used to have!
On leaving Batumi, we go back to the botanical garden that we saw the night before, which does not really have the same head from the outside (which is quite normal!). On the way we will pass in front of an old castle where Imad profits to pose like a mannequin.
After that we start again farther but slower than usual to enjoy what surrounds us. For the evening we take a hotel so we can recharge our batteries.
Result of the day: 54 km
Day 248: Ozouguéti> Akhalsopeli
Wake up for this new day that is getting ready. A few days before, when we were in Batumi, Anaïs contacted me to tell me that she and Elsa were in Kutaisi where we should meet to peddle a few days together!
So, we go in the direction of this city for all this find before reaching Tbilisi, the capital of the country!
We will cycle through the mountains again, enjoying beautiful scenery along the way.
It was planned to camp at the edge of a river, but finally the place is inaccessible, when we turn around, we find ourselves embarked by the owner of the fields around to share several watermelons but also the opportunity for me to smoke my first weed of Georgia through a craft bang. Later, we left for a few kilometers more to bring it closer to our future companions!
For the evening we stop close to our goal by staying in a kind of youth hostel (which we had a hard time finding).
By the way, I passed the 6000 kilometer mark! : D
Result of the day: 73 km
Day 249: Akhalsopeli> Kutaisi
The day will have been more complicated than expected despite a very short distance and this only because of a wind of face as rarely one can have. So even staying on the fast lane (direct straight to the city), the wind made us go at a maximum speed of 12 km / h, which is very boring for flat.
After this event, we managed to find our new comrades at a CouchSurfing who agreed to host us for the night Imad and me.
Given that we arrived early (we spent 3 hours to make 30 kilometers for information), we were able to exchange a great deal about our respective journeys but also prepare ourselves on the road to follow.
At the base it was planned that we all together go on a 3-4 days hike in the north of the country, but with the weather looking bad, it was decided to cancel to continue pedaling every 4.
Imad being more prepared than us for the interesting places to see, he has uncovered on the way a monastery on the top of a rock, present a few tens of kilometers from our accommodation. So we decided to take 2 days to get there, the mountain being back soon.
For the evening, we leave Imad and I to visit a little town, while looking for a table football, but who after turning in several bars, can not find one.
Result of the day: 27 km
Day 250: Kutaisi> Zestafoni
For the first since I left, I do not pedal alone but at 4, which makes me a new experience!
The advantage we all get together is that we get on very well and that everyone adapts to everyone so that we can pedal in almost perfect harmony.
As expected, we go to our monastery, passing through villages all as “kiki”, as the girls say, each other but above all by a loooooooong road full of pebbles that is quite boring to pedal properly.
For the evening we stop in Zestafoni where we opt for a camping evening at the base in the garden near a church, but which ends up in a room next door to be protected from the rain. ‘eventually did not come to the appointment). We took advantage of it to meet the locals around that allowed us to take a shower and share.
Before sleeping, I found myself with our new friends, drinking and smoking a little weed, still in craft mode.
Result of the day: 49 km
Day 251: Zestafoni> Katskhi
Small distance of planned today, but a lot of uneven to get to the end without knowing where we will sleep at night. So, we all go together towards our goal while admiring what surrounds us (nature it wins you).
After a few hours we are at our goal, the Katskhi Pillar, a former monastery present on the top of a 40 meter high rock. On the spot we find the example of my future: two couples of German on a furnished van that travels in search of climbing places (at least for one of the groups).
Once we put our bicycles near their vans, we decide to go exploring the monastery, but what was our surprise when we learn that we can not take the single ladder to reach the summit when we came for it ..
The disappointment passed, we decide to put our tents close to the vans of our neighboring compatriots to spend an evening together. I take the opportunity to make some shots with the drone of the climb of the young couple.
Having a tarpaulin with me (thank you Papa thank you Mom), we were able to make a house to shelter us from the rain, and fortunately because it rained almost all night with thunderstorms as a bonus. We spend the evening together drinking, sharing and laughing.
Once back in the tent, the night was short because of the cold, the wind but also the rain and the storm.
Result of the day: 29 km
Day 252: Katskhi> Tchiatoura
After yesterday’s day, it was expected that today is a short day in distance, especially with the night we spent. Suddenly, after stopping our camp (not in the rain fortunately), we are back on our mounts in direction of Tchiatoura for about ten kilometers and almost descent!
Obviously, I had a “big” technical problem breaking my saddlebag, at least the support allowing it to hold it to the luggage rack. MacGyver as I am, I managed to get by using elastics that Imad had on him to be able to hold it.
We decide to stop here, in a hotel to sleep warm, to shelter and to be able to recharge our devices.
Tchiatoura is a mining village that has been operating the surrounding land for almost 150 years. So there are many cable cars (the village is in the hollow of a large canyon), which we obviously took to have a view from the “roof of the world”.
We also take the opportunity to visit the city and eat at the restaurant. I would like to point out that we managed to negotiate our hotel rooms as pros!
Result of the day: 12 km
Day 253: Tchiatoura> Khidiskuri
“Big” distance for an enormous difference in level, such was the program of the day. The day was therefore very tiring because of the mountain, much more compared to what we had the “chance” to have earlier.
Nothing special to report for the day, perhaps except the fact that we stopped during the descent in a small restaurant all “kiki” that an elderly couple owned.
For the evening it was camping paradise close to a river, with barbecue!
Result of the day: 65 km
Day 254: Khidiskuri> Grakali
From now on, and up to Tbilisi, we find an unbearable headwind as well as an enormous drop in temperature from the 40 degrees that we may have had before.
We manage to do nothing to travel about fifty kilometers where we land near a river despite the dose of wind present.
The night was really horrible because of wind and a dog that kept barking for nothing in the morning.
Result of the day: 57 km
Day 255: Grakali> Tbilisi
Another day armored with wind from the front but that does not discourage us a bit.
On the way, shortly before the capital, we meet first a Korean, with whom we share our lunch and then meet two French also on bike!
After the exchange, we are back on the road, passing a small part on the highway to reach our hotel where we will stay a few days.
Result of the day: 67 km
Day 256-257: Tbilisi
During our break, we take advantage of it to make our visa for Azerbaijan, visit the city like the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, and all that is within our reach. For the first night we meet Gauthier, another cycling traveler with whom we had a good evening!
We do not know exactly what we will do next, the visa being still a few days to arrive.