Georgia – Farewell to a fascinating country

After exactly three months, the wonderful time in Georgia is slowly coming to an end.
So it is time for us to return to the capital Tbilisi for the last time after the adventure in the Vashlovani National Park.

Das Ziel war, die restlichen Kilometer zurück in die Hauptstadt so schnell wie nur möglich hinter uns zu bringen, da die Route entlang einer sehr befahrenen Strasse verläuft.
After a few close overtaking maneuvers, we got dressed up and once again put on our light vests. In addition, we helped those who can’t imagine what it’s like to be overtaken by a car with only about 20 cm distance and a speed of 100 km/h with a distance stick.

The trip went smoothly and for the last night of camping in Georgia we chose a royal place:

After another day on the unattractive road, covered with a light layer of soot, we reached the city. For the last 5 days we still had a tough program ahead of us. First we went to the vaccination center (after 3 months in the country we were allowed to claim vaccination as tourists) where we were vaccinated with the 1st dose of Pfizer/Biontech. With pain in the arm and extremely weakened from the vaccination, the next item on the agenda was to get bicycle boxes for the flight as well as boxes for our bike bags. We were lucky and found what we were looking for in the first bike store. Bulky loaded we took the bus for the return trip 😄.

Each airline has different dimensions and maximum weights for carrying bicycles. Not so easy with an XL bicycle frame from Beni to be able to comply with this 😅. After hours of back and forth, we had our bicycles and all the equipment distributed in the boxes, disassembled and taped shut.

The rather tedious part behind us, now followed two wonderful evenings with friends we had the pleasure to meet in Georgia. On the first evening we kept our promise and invited Khatuna’s family (who let us stay with them and in their cottage for several days) to the Pizzeria Farina of Rainer (the Swiss who also helped us several times). It was a lot of fun, Rainer and his girlfriend baked us one delicious pizza after the other.
The next day, when we went for a last Thai meal with Dario and Lisa, we also had to say goodbye to them. It was not easy for us, as we have experienced and gone through a lot together. So our stay in Georgia ended with a lot of nostalgia and unforgettable memories in our luggage ❤️🇬🇪.

After 3 months in Georgia it’s time for a summary and a review:

  • Helpfulness: Georgians are very helpful by nature. We were often gifted with plenty of wine, chacha and food and every now and then invited to stay overnight. We also found it very pleasant that we never had the feeling that they wanted to rip us off as tourists. We were always treated very fairly and equally as locals. Except perhaps in the big city of Tbilisi. Not only tour providers advertise here, but currently especially PCR test laboratories.
  • Roads: Behind the wheel, Georgie hospitality unfortunately ends very quickly and the national sport of overtaking in tricky situations comes to the surface. The younger generation also finds this annoying and they apologized to us a few times for the inconsiderate behavior of the mostly older people, who are nevertheless very breakneck on the road.
    Therefore, in the big cities it is not very recommended to go around by bicycle. However, once you are in rural areas, there is very little traffic, the roads are usually in good condition (unless you are driving in very remote areas) and driving is just fun.
  • Food: Wow, that was our reaction to the Georgian food! Simply amazing how people even in the most remote places conjure up real treats from their own garden with lots of herbs.
    In most restaurants / regions, it is often the case that there is an almost uniform menu card with the six typical dishes:
    Khinkali – Georgian dumplings filled with either meat, mushrooms or potatoes.
    Khachapuri – bread dough filled with cheese, depending on the region, the khachapuri comes in different varieties. Some bread doughs are shaped like a ship, the inside of which is filled with cheese, others are shaped like a pizza and the filling is inside the yeast dough.
    Lobiani – khachapuri filled with bean mousse and a lot easier to digest than the cheese version.
    Mzwadi (Georgian shashlik) – meat skewers grilled over open embers. Sauces often served with the meat are sweet plums or a mirabelle sauce (tkemali), tomato sauce (sasebela), or a very hot pepper-based dip (adzhika).
    Badridschani – eggplant stuffed with walnut paste
    Georgian Salad – Tomato and cucumber salad with purple basil, peterli and onions in a fine sunflower seed oil sauce
  • Cleanliness: Here, too, similar to Ukraine, the garbage is thrown out of the moving car. Piles of trash pile up next to overflowing containers. In the rivers, as soon as the water level rises, rows and rows of plastic waste are washed away. It is a pity that there is no functioning waste system. So we could observe how someone disposed of his car windshield into a container standing next to it. There were also cardboard boxes, batteries and much more in there.
  • Drinking water: Obtaining drinking water is easy throughout the country. On the one hand, there are springs where the locals also fill up their water supplies, and in remote places the water can be tapped from the streams.

From the bottom of our hearts we can recommend a visit to Georgia to everyone, we will definitely come back!

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