Sunday, August 22, 2010

South Georgia trip

Last week a friend of mine hired me to drive him through southern Georgia from the east to the sea.
over 4 days we covered 1220 kilometers, went through multiple mountain ranges, helped marshrutkas over precarious mountain passes, and swam in the black sea.
Day 1: We started from my hostel in Signagi and went to the town of Udabno near David Gareji. From there we took a rock/dirt road along the Azeri border to Rustavi. We briefly linked up to Tbilisi from there and across to Tetri Tskaro. Along this way there is a wonderful new road being put in that makes driving a real charm! Not like the normal roads here in Georgia that make you feel like you are in a boat during a hurricane!
On this new road we went to Tsalka where we camped on the northern point of the reservoir.

Day 2: After a very chilly night (we forgot to pack the right camping gear for the mountains... oops), We drove south to Ninotsminda to Akhalkalaki and over to Vardzia in the early afternoon. After spending a couple of hours there and having a very nice lunch, we got back underway up through Akhaltsikhe and through the mountains into Adjara.
After the town of Adigeni, the road goes to hell real quick. The roads up and over the mountains in that area are insane. very beautiful, but if you don't have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, you might not make it!
Once we finally got out of the mountains, we made it in the very late evening to Batumi, where we stayed at a guesthouse near Green Cove.

Day 3: We set out early and were in Ureki by 11am. I have a friend thats living there for the summer so we spent the day on the beach there and got to swim a bunch and massively sunburnt as well. That evening we drove up to Poti and camped by Lake Paliastonli.

Day 4: Set out early just as it started raining a bit and drove all the way back to Tbilisi along the main route. Except for some construction in a couple of places, it was quick driving and we were back in Tbilisi by early afternoon.

Overall, it was an amazing experience and we saw some of least visited places in Georgia which was a real treat. I highly recommend taking a southerly trip through Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javaketi and Adjara.

Most of what we ate was bread and sausage and a couple of typical Georgian dinners. Not much in the way of anything adventurous or weird. haha!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend fest, desert.

Over the weekend, I had a group of czechs stay here at my house.
We had a good lot of wine and tried a cafe in signagi that i hadn't been to before.
It's actually quite nice and very cheap. it should be a place i go back to often.
On friday night, My friend Inge and her friend Nienke, who was visiting from holland, came also.
We made quite the feast, having mstvadi(pork kebabs),loads of salads, some bean paste dish that was super good, ROASTED, STUFFED WITH CHEESE, PEPPERS THAT WERE WONDERFUL, loads of beers and wines and some whiskey and chacha.

it was a very nice evening and everyone got properly drunk and Thor had loads of delicious raw meat for supper.

next day, we all piled in the car and went to Davit garedja monastery out in the desertish wilds near the azeri border.
Since it was blisteringly hot, Inge and i stayed at the car while the others hiked up and over to the other side, since we'd been there several times before.
I drove them all back to Tbilisi and went out for sushi with Inge and Nienke and J. afterwards, we went to my friend Ben's goodbye party. I had a liter size cup for beer. it was the coolest thing ever. I had it refilled a few too many times though. Hahahaha!

Good weekend, next week: out into the wild!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The last week in food

Over the past week i haven't had any internet so i haven't posed anything.
here is quick run down of the food i have made and eaten. pictures will come later.

Saturday night: After a long day of hiking and skinny dipping in lagodekhi, Ian, Dion and i came home and made a wonderful layered, baked pasta dish with a tomato and eggplant sauce layer and a white sauce layer. Topped with melted Sulguni cheese. Tavqveri wine from Pheasants Tears went amazingly with it.

Sunday night: We all woke up late and spent the day relaxing and went for a walk in the valley near the house and picked a bunch of wild black raspberries. For supper, we grilled eggplants and tomatoes and peppers over the fire on Shampuras (shish kabob sticks) and also potatoes and carrots in tinfoil in the fire itself. the remainder of the Tavqveri and Grant's whiskey for the drinks. After dinner we played Rummy til nice and late with more whiskey/medicine.

Monday night: I was on my own so i made fajita-ish peppers and tomatoes and put it on rice. can't remember what i drank. probably a bit of whiskey.

Tuesday night: Nothing special. just chopped tomatoes and mixed with basalmic vinegar and black pepper on top of bread.

Wednesday: Made spicy baked beans. had to soak the beans over night and then boiled the hell out of them for an hour or so. Then dumped in a load of tomatoes and onions and hot peppers and chili spices. It turned out pretty well.

No idea yet what i'm gonna do today. We'll have to wait and see if I want to go into the market and buy stuff or use up what i have left here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

drunken masala

made masala last night with dion and ian. didn't take pictures of the food. too bad because it was AWESOME!
we also drank way too much of the new tavqveri wine from pheasants tears. the stuff is awesome. totally worth coming to georgia just to try it.
we danced, we drank more stuff.

now for camping once we get it together today!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"French"(georgian) Onion Soup

Tonight, thanks to my friend Inge Snip, i have decided to make french onion soup tonight.
Unfortunately, i didn't have any real beef stock so i had to use bullion. it should work out fine though.
First i sauteed a lot of onions until caramelized, then mixed those, some garlic, white wine, a bay leaf and some basil together and simmered it for a long time, until a lot of the water had boiled off.
Unfortunately again, i only have sulguni cheese and tone bread. so... not quite the same.

It was really good for my first time making it!
next time i'm going to caramelize the onions way longer though and use less water for the broth.

new direction

I have decided to write about food. so there.

the first in months.

it's been a very long time since i've written anything because i just don't feel motivated to write most of the time.
this year is much different then last year, with more ups then downs, and it's been much more enjoyable here.

my cooking skills have grown quite a bit and i hope to maybe make moves to opening a restaurant someday. also, i may be teaching english this fall at a university in tbilisi.
it should be interesting to see what transpires.
i still hate cleaning, i'm still single, i have a car now, i suffer from headaches most days, i have better friends here in georgia now, i have a lot more rolling tobacco from batumi, i have a treehouse and a hammock... that's 'bout all that's new.