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!


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