Day 54 : …and back up in the mountains.

26 Jun

Day 54 wasn’t the sunniest one. We left the city under grey and windy weather, on a good road, unfortunately full of trucks commuting in a stone extraction site. We met Bart, a dutch guy cycling Georgia for 5 weeks, advising us not to get to the mountains as the weather was pretty horrible. The only other option for us was to go to Turkey, 20km away, for a one day trip. After some hesitation, we decided to carry on and cycle towards the dark georgian clouds. We got some rain, and even hail, as we were around 2000 meters high, but it didn’t last long.

Bart, showing the way

Pretty windy up here

After few some wet cycling, we wanted to stop for hot coffee and food in Ninotsminda, but there didn’t seem to have many restaurants nor bars over there. Nico smelled food at some point, knocked at the door, and talked to the guys working there. From what we understood, it seemed to be the canteen of an hospital and not a restaurant. They gave us some mineral water, then after a few minutes invited us to eat what was on the table…there were kilos and kilos of meat, fish, vegetables, bread, and so on. We ate like kings, and once again, had to toast with the cooks some vodka shots -we tried to refuse but just couldn’t. It was a normal lunch during the week, and there was 2 vodka bottles on each table of 6 people…more vodka than water. The armenian style.

We couldn’t eat everything

Toast, just a few hours after the last ones 

The clouds passed by as we were eating, and the weather improved a bit for the last part of the afternoon. We went up to 2100 meters, in a beautiful remote rural area with several lakes. We saw many sheeps, cows, people, and several eagles. There were many other birds species that we have no clue about (to my friends Ratnesh and Danuta : you’d have loved that place!)

Stuck in traffic

The old school

I want to sleep

One of the many eagle we saw that day

What’s up, dude?

At sunset, we found a church in front of lake Paravani, and decided to camp there as we would have a beautiful sunset on the mountains facing us. We put the tent next to the little church, to stay dry and be protected from the wind, but a monk came to make us move further from his holy church. We moved next to it in the grass, then he came back some time later because we were “too close from the church”. We set up the tent for the third time, now far from the church, as it was getting annoying to be bothered by the monk.

We got really lucky during the night, as a big storm was close to us, with lightnings every few seconds. We took some pictures and luckily didn’t get wet. The next morning, the blue sky was back and the scenery quite exceptional.

We  first thought the judgement day had arrived

But it hadn’t 🙂

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3 Responses to “Day 54 : …and back up in the mountains.”

  1. wordswithnannaprawn June 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Of all that could happen on such a trip, being ‘bothered by a Monk’ is possibly not the first thing you’d be covering in your risk assessment…….how blessedly frustrating the religious can prove to be at times!! great photos, and very inspiring! I’m not a very committed cyclist and my only full-on cycling day so far has been riding around Rottnest Island in Western Australia……it’s a measly 32km all up…..but it did have some slight inclines….and some weird little marsupials called Quokkas that look like Rats (hence the original name of Rats Nest) – no monks though 🙂

  2. R.W. June 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Great blog, guys. It must be wonderful to have such a great friendship on the road. You guys are real buddies! The photos are absolutely wonderful, too. I look forward to your next posts and photos. I hope the road and the weather is good to you guys, you are doing a great thing that you will remember for the rest of your lives. Good luck and I will be following your daily posts all the way home.

  3. nicilaskin June 27, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    i had to laugh while picturing you setting up the tent each time getting farther away from that little church :), glad you stayed nice and dry during the night, and me thinks your liver will thank you when you are done with Georgia ” Cheers”

    nici

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