Day 60,61,62 Georgia wants to keep us longer

1 Jul


We left the Romantik hotel around midday, took a last ride in the old town and had lunch on a terrasse. After we ate some really good falafel, we started cycling east with a pretty good weather. On the way we could see many people selling those sweets, called churchkhela – a mix of nuts and grape mash which doesn’t look really appealing. As we saw it many times cycling georgian roads, we thought we’d give it a try before leaving the country. It is actually pretty good, and full of energy. 😉

Churchkhela

The -ambitious- target of the day was to reach Sighnaghi, an historic village with castle and old church on the heights of a mountain. But during the late afternoon, after cycling 90km, some heavy rain joined the party and gave us romanian memories as we got completely soaked. At 9 pm we still had no idea where to sleep. Fortunately we reached a restaurant on the road, cooking shashliks on wood fire, where we stopped to eat, dry and get warmer. We  asked if it was possible to set the tent on the upper terrasse which had a roof. Mamouka (the cook) called the boss and got a positive answer. Really glad not to spend the night in a swamp. 😉

I took a shower already!

Where the hell is Hellboy…something is coming!

I’m cooking in the rain

Master of fire

Our dry camping spot

We slept pretty well up there and the day after the rain was gone, so we thought it would be our last day in Georgia and that we would enter Azerbaijan, as it was just 70 km away. After we ate a melon offered to us on the road the day before, we started cycling to Sighnaghi with the idea to have lunch there, take some pictures and then make the last 50 km to the border. It was a pretty steep climb but it was worth it. The scenery from the top is gorgeous and the village pretty well maintained.

Sighnaghi

We were surprised to see so many tourists, restaurants and souvenir shops. There even was a casino and 3 ATM’s, high up in the mountains. At lunch we tried another Georgian speciality “khilkali” – it is a kind of ravioli filled with meat. Very good. By the time we finished our meal the rain came back and put our cycling mood at its lowest level, as it seemed it would never end. We decided to take it easy, find a cheap room, enjoy what we could of Sighnaghi, and wait to the next morning.

Khilkali

 In the evening we went back to the center to get some food and met Zura, a pretty funky guy with a big heart who wanted to share a Georgian table with us at his place. We went to his house where we toasted his grandfather’s wine while eating really good food with him and some of his friends.

Sighnaghi by night

The weather came back to normal the next morning, and we left the village in early afternoon. On the way down, we met a group of two polish couples, cycling for 3 weeks in Georgia. We exchanged a few good tips about the country then went back on the road. We have been chased by many dogs packs on the way to lagodekhi, the last town before the border. The road was flat, but we were not at our best, after the previous night’s excesses. The Caucasus facing us is magnificient. On the road, many groups of people, mostly man, whom main goal in life seem to have enough money to buy beer and cigarets. Each of them is calling us, but we only stopped once, next to a shop, as we were hungry. We got offered melon, bread and sausages, that we ate with harissa.

Also, milestone : 3000km on the counter today!

Yeeah!

Amazing Caucasus

Joseph, proud winner of 20 lari (10€) in the tap of a winning bottle of beer

At 7 pm we were in Lagodekhi, close to the border that we decided not to cross, as the custom takes time and we didn’t want to enter Azerbaijan without money, at night. We told ourselves Georgia would keep us one more day, and found a place to stay in this lovely village.

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2 Responses to “Day 60,61,62 Georgia wants to keep us longer”

  1. mrcrish_cjr July 3, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Looks awesome – what an amazing journey! And great photos too – my wife and I are considering going from Beijing to Istanbul by land and would probably pass through Georgia – these photos make me anxious to get going!

  2. Seb July 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    Nice gift in the bottle ! Better than a code to enter in some web portal in order to get…nothing :p

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