Search results for 'paravani'

Shooting the Paravani lake side

26 Jun

Day 55 : Double Downhill

26 Jun

From the lake Paravani, we reached the maximum altitude we would get to in the area. Day 55 was therefore mostly downhill. We did a pit stop in the first village for some breakfast, went down to the “center” next to the lake, and managed to find the owner of the shop, who opened it for us. She had some cake, yogurt and dried apricots, that would be enough for us to pedal few dozens of kilometers. After some ups and downs, we reached the edge of Tsalka region, and weren’t aware of what was going next : a pretty steep downhill for about 20 km on a great new road, where both of us reached 70km per hour, for the first time of the trip. Riding at such a speed with strong lateral wind is quite of an experience!

Arrived at the bottom, we were speechless with a big smile on our faces. Those 20 minutes were orgasmic and a big reward for the last three climbing days. 🙂

We had another climb after lunch, then some flat in altitude…then surprisingly another extra downhill that would last for another 20 km! Awesomeness!

The third bit was made of medium sized hills ; the ones that you can climb pretty easily if you gain enough speed on the way down ; the ones that make you feel like being in a roller coaster. We were eating kilometers like greedy pigs, and after 90km, we faced a steep wall that got us back to reality : what goes down must go up…

After 90km, we had to climb that mountain in the background…

It needed lots of sweat to get to the top, and once there we had to think about a place to sleep, as it was already 7.30 in the evening. We were not on the road we were supposed to -don’t know why ; and after 110km we stopped in a small village and ask if there was any place we could stay.

We need a place to sleep!

The answers were all the same : ‘The hotels are in Tbilisi, it’s 40km away!’…fortunately, Davit showed up to act as a translator, as he was one of the only person in the village who could speak english. His answer was the same, but then started saying that Georgians were hospitality people…and that he could host us fore the night. We were very glad to hear that, and got ready for a new georgian experience 🙂

Davit, our amazing host, on the left

We struggled to pay for the beers, got home, met the parents and the friends, and ate various dishes, all of them being homemade with products of the garden. We tried georgian wine for the first time, made out of the grapes that were growing above our heads, then toasted some chacha. Davit’s friend from georgian army was very interested in our original Opinel, so we gave it to him. He then gave us his bandana from georgian army, and a georgian knife so that we’d still have something to cut our tomatoes. 🙂

After food, we headed up to the neighbour, as he was the guy with a television, and watched England vs Italy all together. Viva Italia! (Nico says).

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 🙂