Monday, 29 June 2015

Georgia satellite

. . . Well not so much a satellite.  More a surface rover .
. .  And Georgia seems like a nice place to be. Beautiful countryside although like most countries in this  region, it seems that the scenery is used as a prime dumping ground for household waste.
. . .I have hooked up with Stuart and Oli who are heading to Mongolia. . Travelling in the same direction for a while. .

The small towns and villages that a wide road passed through have modern shops and lots more expensive looking cars. Lots of Judge dread style Ford police specials patrol cars with lights lit at all times inhabiting every 5k and several cars being pulled over.
Camping on the first night was next to the beach. . A thunderstorm overnight didn't disturb me. A police officer parked overnight nearby until we left was a little strange but hey we left the area tidier than when we arrived.

Tbilisi beckons on day 2. .

On arrival Tbilisi was baking on the grass steppe under a cloudless sky,  hotter than a hot thing on a hot day. Even the air is turned up to ten.
40° feels like a furnace in my open face helmet with  the visor lifted even if I have acclimatised a bit.
Checking my Azerbaijan visa shows me I got things a bit wrong with the dates. . I will now stay Tbilisi until Monday  when my visa starts. .
Until then I've got some time to explore this city a bit. While it's not the prettiest city in the world it has it has some olde worlde charm away front the madness of the road system and battling traffic. I just need to uncover it somehow.

At least it's a very cheap place to live. The hotel is £8 a night, petrol at about 60p a litre and beer at not much more.

There is some affluence in this city though. New BMWs and Mercedes rubbing shoulder (quite literally in some cases) with old battered cars with missing body parts still labouring on beyond reasonable use. .

A taxi ride showed up the local driving habits first hand. . No mercy. . But I've got used to what initially felt like suicidal overtakes and undertakes and queue jumping and impatience because the driver  at the front of the queue actually waited for the lights to turn green!
It's all good . .

It all works somehow. . Just like the ramshackle buildings that somehow remain standing despite huge cracks in the brickwork . . One noticeable aspect has been the number of workers pulling debris from the river, which I have read has been deliberately lowered to enable the search for any victims of the recent flood. A grim task. Although I haven't seen first hand any of the flood damage, or indeed any escaped tigers!
I will also take the opportunity to change some money to universally accepted US dollars before I move on.

From Wednesday I'm back to being on my own. . Which is not so bad. I like making my own decisions and taking my own direction. Stopping when I want and moving when I choose.


Rob H. said...

Where are you staying in Tbilisi?

Mark Dalton said...

Hi Rob. . Not far from the zoo. . Top of the hill where the main shopping area is. . Quite way from the old town. .

You been here?

No sign of missing tigers though !