Friday, 18 March 2011

Georgia 2

We devise a plan to travel East together for a few days. After which point Stu will continue on to Istanbul before flying home to recoup funds and I will head south to try my luck at the Syria border. We throw our bikes onto the night train, find our cabin and crack open a litre of Ukrainian vodka. At some point in the night we gain a friend. We swap smokes for shots and let our new aquaintence (and toastmaster) do his thing – the Georgians know how to toast...and apparently, after half a litre of vodka, it seems I know how to speak Russian!

We pull in to Batumi station an hour before the sun makes itself know for the day. We drag our gear piece by piece to a grassy area near the platform, roll out the sleeping bags, and crash. I wake periodically to see fuzzy human-like shapes approach to inspect the two newest additions to Batumi's “drunken bum” population.

At something like midday we get up and moving. A blissfull ride along the Batumi coastline - slight tailwind, paved promenade lined with trendy bars and an uninterrupted view of the Black Sea. Once out of town the greenness of the hilly coast has a vitalizing effect – particularly as I've spent so long in a white frozen or arid dry world.

The Georgian/Turk border is a crossing of minimal hassles. We put a few kilometres between us border – stopping momentarily to take some water cress from a snow-melt stream. As the evening glow takes hold of the day we search out a picturesque coastal camp spot. We treat ourselves to a fire and chat away the evening while supping on our Veggie Power Broth.

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