March 25

Crawling out of bed wasn’t easy this morning, but we were on the road out of Batumi by 9am.  The roads were bloody hard work, with lots of hills, nutcase drivers and potholes everywhere, and by 5pm we’d only done about 80k.  As I was coming down a hill, a couple of dogs started barking and running towards me – I jumped off the bike and growled at them, only to notice ten Georgian guys in leather jackets staring at me.  One of them, a tiny old man, rushed up to me, dragged my bike to the side of the road and starts talking to me in Georgian.  Obviously, I had no idea what he was talking about, but I explained as best as I could our plans and they were very impressed.  Within minutes they’d got a big bottle of Georgian wine and some food.  Ryan arrived just as the wine was brought out, and we spent a couple of hours talking, drinking, eating and enjoying the generosity of these guys. 

As it started to get darker, the tiny old man helped us push our bikes up to his house, then fixed us dinner and prepared a bed for each of us.  He had the friendliest face I’ve ever seen, and was incredibly generous and kind.  He kept trying to ply us with food and more wine, and made sure that we understood that  everything we were eating was grown on his land.  The blankets were thick and warm, and considering we’d been drinking wine and eating for the past four hours I was asleep in seconds. 

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