Janos Peterdi Photographer

Georgia II.

We slept in Chiatura, and looked for a car service the next day but noone could or wanged to help us anywhere. So we moved on to Tbilisi, where we found a Mitsubishi Service on the road leading into the city. This did not solve the problem, so the next day, after sightseeing, we returned again for a more thorough investigation. A couple of points oiled and the knocking / squeaking noise stopped, but for safety’s sake we put a spare part in. It turned out that if it is raining heavily at night, the car’s ventilation is not enough, so we bought a sun visor to be able to lower the windows. It does not soak, it does not seem that the window is lowered, yet there is ventilation, but in return it’s quite ugly.

We’ve discovered the capital, its architecture is pretty good but the city is not as cheap as they said. Prices have almost tripled since 2016 (we know from the guidebook), but the quality of service has not followed this rise everywhere. Like infrastructure, there are roads where most Georgians go by off-road. In a word, I wouldn’t buy a car here, though supposedly simple and cheap. In addition, the brands are very close to my taste, a lot of Japanese cars, mainly 4wheel drive.

After Tbilisi we headed to the Caucasus, the first stop was Juta, where we planned a valley tour to the foot of the mountain. The Russian border is near, soldiers are stationed in the mountains and you can pass only after passport control. They also wrote down how many hours we were going to hike up, and they probably followed us as we met them back in the valley. Here, too, the river flooded, but we were able to cross a natural snow bridge, after a small climb. On the way back we saw a dead horse in the river, probably slipped off the snow bridge and drowned. This sight also reinforced the rule that we always filter natural waters!

After Jutah, we drove up to Gergeti Monastery, which offers a beautiful view of the Shy Bride peak, the Kazbek peak. It is called Shy Bride because it’s mostly covered with clouds. In the evening, there was a big storm, but by dawn the sky was clear and the sun started to shine through the windows. By the way, we woke up by accident at 5 am: Zsófi covered the gas alarm sensor, which in this case turns on in a few seconds and alerts you that the air has run out. So we woke up for a beautiful view. The peak of Mt Kazbek could be seen all shiny and beautiful without any clouds. We were soon asleep again, unfortunately by the time we woke up in the morning, the clouds were covering again the summit, and even the whole valley was in bad weather. Because of this, we are no longer waiting for Russia!

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