I have not bike so much in Georgia. From the Turkish’s border, it took me three days to get to Tiblissi. At the hostel, I meet many bikers that are also biking around the world. It is nice to spend so time with homologue. David was from England. As me, he can not go in Iran. He was waiting for his Kazakstan visa to fly there. However, I just heard that mid-July, Kazakstan will be visa free. Who know, I may bike overthere ! Then, I also meet Bertrand. He’s from France. So bad…he had trouble with his back wheel and he spend so much time in Tiblissi to get a way to get it fix and on Facebook, he told me they have not done a good job. Hopefully, he will get it properly repair before the Stan countries. He’s heading now to Iran. According to him (he now knows pretty much all the bike shop in Tiblissi), there are nice bike shops here but it is hard to get bike pieces. Some local people get those pieces by ebay.
It was nice to get around the city for a day. Georgian’s food is very delicious. You should check around your city if there are any restaurents. There are using a lot of fresh herbs in their dishes. However, the food can bit quite heavy and salty. I have not took any pictures but I will had some internet links to the recipes’ section.
I was also supposed go in Armenia. However, when I looked at the airline’s tickets for Dushambe, I just could not believe it ! It is very expensive and most of the flights are doing a transit to Moscow. The distance between Tiblissi and Dushanbe is around 2 000 km but because of the transit, some airlines compagnies take more than 20 – 30 hours to get there !! Also, It may be have been difficult to get a bicycle’s box in Yeravan. I found a flight from Tiblissi to Dushanbe that was not too too too expensive and 10 hours flight. I have decided to booked it and then, just stay longer in the north of Gorgia to trek and get a rest from the bicycle. Tajikistan and Kirghistan won’t be easy to bike…
As usually, I got bored quick of the city. I left with David to Kazbegi national park. We have done 3 days trekking around Juta. On our way to the valley, we stopped to meet some local people. The youngest guy was buiding a mountain hut. They have invited us to eat and drink some local wine. Georgian people are reputated for drinking as the Russian are with the vodka !!!! It was early afternoon…we were not properly equip to go much further in the valley so, we spend the whole afternoon drink with them….All alfernoon, their were doing toast to everything !!!! To the sibling, to the women, to the Gorgian, to our family…OMG !!!! I got so drunk. Futher along the way, just before to put our tent, I felt asleep with my backpack on my shoulder in the grass and I got sick in the middle of the night. I could not believe it ! Plus, during the night, the weather was so bad. I had to time myself between tunderstorm and lightning. Unfortunatly, this enormous amount of drink is part of their culture but I’m happy that I have experienced that because I love to participe to some cultural’s ritual with local people. So, I DID ! Check, no more !
After our trekking around Juta, David had to get back to Tiblissi to get his Kazakstan’s visa. I did not have enought warm clothes to stay here and there are no proper markets in Kazbegi. So, I have decided to go back to the city too to get more food and warmer clothes. After this little short trek, my legs were hurting. So weird, because i bike so much. Wow, this is only shown me how much I dont walk anymore. All those hours every day on the bike. If I dont bike, im either sleeping or sitting / eating lolololo
For nature’s lovers, trekkers, alpinists…you should check out about Gorgia. There are many national Paris up north other than Kazbegi. However, Kazbegi mountain is the highest one ( more than 5000 meters ). Before this trip, maybe as many Canadian, I had know idea where this country was. To me, Georgia was a state in the USA. There have beautiful mountains in the north country. It is very safe (except some part of the north west). They are christian..and accommodation and food is cheap. You can get a dorm room for about 10 $ and if you share dishes at the restaurent with your friends, It may cost you around 4 or 5 $ including the beer. However, this is my personal experience and not everyone is agreeing with me but, I have not meet to many nice Gorgian people. I mean….not so social. To me, they are not expressing to much emotion. I have never been in Russia but I feel their culture is closer to the Russian than the Asian’s culture. Actually, for the one who know me, I would say they are not too fare away from the vietnamese in my list…. Im happy to go away ! But, it is a very safe and nice country for trekking.
Its funny, when I’m in a city, I feel bored and lonely. I much prefer to be in the nature. I cannot not believe how the time is going so fast. I’m on the road since more than 2 months and half. The time is running quick but when I do a rétrospective about everything I have done, I feel Im on the road since years ! The world is big but when you bike it, it feel so small. I have started in Italie and IM already very near of central asia. I’m flying at 22h 00 on July 17. I will be in Dushambe on July 18. Hopefully, I will get the GBAO permit for the Pamir highway. If I can bike the Pamir, I will take so many pictures that I will be able to share with you. However, I may not be able to get internet for 3 to 4 weeks. There are villages and people along the way…but there are not internet connection.