Friday 2 June 2017

The marshrutka ride from hell and some pictures from Georgia

Initially when we saw the trucks we thought we were lucky. We were on the Georgian Military Highway headed north to Kazbegi, just south of the Russian border. We were going to hike. I wanted to see some wild, no wine. 

We'd been banging around in the back of the marshrutka (Georgian public transport) for three hours when we hit the whiteout. Actually, first we hit the windowless, un-lit, pot-holed, two-way soviet tunnel — then we hit the whiteout.

And then we saw the trucks. Miles of them lined up, parked along the side of road going to Russia. We thought thank god it's Sunday. Thank god they're not driving.

Turns out higher up it wasn't snowing so we could hike.

Turns out there were also trucks parked on the other side. Going to Georgia.

That they started driving. 

Did I mention we were by this time up a bombing like a crazed bat outta hell down a mountain? How our driver was bent for no particular reason on passing each and every one against counter (truck) traffic in corkscrew bends on roads with no railings at speed in a minivan who knows how old the only certainty being it's never had its brakes checked — ever — stuffed to over-capacity with men with no seat sitting in the aisle and us stuffed in at the back between life-weathered Georgians taking desperate slugs of lukewarm beer with our eyes shut honest to god thinking we were gonna die and him checking, overtaking, swerving, speeding, braking, radio all the while blasting we're in heavennn.

And then the cows walked into the road.

A courtyard in Tblisi

Mother Georgia

Before the off-roading monks in robes bombed past in their 4x4

John dropped us off in Tblisi and we took a nap in the botanical garden. 
Then we took sulphur baths and went to a party

                                                   Like how they do in Amsterdam

Shepherds everywhere; houses, shade or water nowhere

David Gareja cave complex and monastery, 6th c. — still active 

A very soviet lunch. The woman apologised for the bread not being fresh though. The tub is full of monk honey

Almost Azerbaijan 

Chapel door, David Gareja monastery 

No ice cream but warm beer and ancient fish

Roads and salt flats

Inside Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, old Georgian capital

The most beautiful J-C

Mt. Kazbegi

The most surreal place I've been: Rooms Hotel, Kazbegi

The rest of Kazbegi looks like this:

She was pregnant. We called her Waffsko and fed her chips

Hiking with Waffsko

Gergeti Trinity Church, 12th c, 2170m. Complete with monk and gas stove

Dress code


Saints for sale

The locals

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