March 26

Woke up to a beautiful morning today, with a surprising lack of a headache or any kind of hangover – that Georgian wine is really something special!  I wandered downstairs from our room to see that Ryan’s food bag had been scattered all over the yard.  Badre came out when I wandered down and was clearly upset.  He explained the neighbour dogs had been in and had tried to get at the food and that it was definitely not his dog that did it.  It’s not really a problem I explain to him, as it was only the bread that was eaten and we can pick some up super easy. As we get ourselves together, he makes us some breakfast and we take a few pictures then head off.   The valleys we ride through are brilliant fun, with such beautiful views and quiet roads, and then we head down onto a long patch of flat ground.  That’s when the incredibly annoying headwinds kick in and they’re with us allllllllll day. 

We make really slow time to Samtredia and then Kutaisi – the ancient capital of Colchis – and we stop in the square for a little while to sunbathe.  Ryan manages to find a place with WiFi and a place we can watch our bikes so we cycle down and have some cheap Georgian food and catch up on our internets.  I realise that it’s 2:30 and we haven’t actually gone very far, so we finish our meals and head off, managing to get near Kharagauli.  We’ve got a pretty big climb tomorrow, 1000m or so, so we cycle until about 7pm and then stop near a petrol station.

There’s a nice camp spot, but as we settle down, one of the attendants comes to tell us that there’s a better one further up the hill.  We drag all our stuff up and he’s right, there’s a nice flat spot for both our tents overlooking the valley and we get set up for the night.  We wander down to thank the guys for pointing us towards the spot to find they sell beer in the station, so we buy a couple and sit down beside the road to drink them.  As we do so, the manager, Georgi (I swear almost everyone in Georgia is called Georgi), comes and talks to us for a while about life, the universe and everything.  He’s a really nice guy and even lets us use the shower they’ve got which was bloody marvellous.  Two beers in after a long day and we pass out like lights about 10 o’clock. 

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