View Single Post
Old 04-23-2012, 01:43 PM   #73
randel OP
Gnarly Adventurer
randel's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Mattighofen
Oddometer: 317
Day 10

Night was rainy and while we were over 1400m ASL, also quite cold. We woke up 7am, when one car stopped next to our tent and driver didn't stop pressing horn until we look out from tent. And then he smiled and yelled to us - Hey, where are you from!?!? And then waved and drove away God damn, what kind of a question is this?? 7AM? It was so funny we just couldn't be mad too long And sleeping didn't seem too attractive anymore, because sun was shining and scenery was so beautiful.

After breakfast I did major overhaul for my trusty Primus Omnifuel. It has served me perfectly over many years already. Thorough cleaning of jets helped alot.

Snowy peaks ahead. Just beautiful!

Road to Mestia passed small picturesque villages.

23km to Ushguli, highest year-round inhabited place in Europe

We met two austrian 4x4, they where in trouble driving on all those rocks. Our bikes were so much faster and easier to drive!

Austrian Alps? No, Georgian Caucasus!

Road climbed higher and higher. Georgian highest peak, 5068 meter high Shkhara was behind clouds.
On the right is South-Ossetia, Russia occupied this Georgian territory in 2008 and created so called "South-Ossetian autonomous republic".

Road to Ushguli. These pictures bring back so much great memories, I wan't to go back!

Zagari pass, 2623 meters

We met two georgian border guards on Zagari pass. They were very friendly, but also asked, did we saw anybody moving on that road. They were obviously watching South-Ossetian border very closely!
BTW, Zagari pass is closed until late June because snow will not melt before!

Descending to Ushguli

Ushguli guesthouse. They spoke good german!


Unfortunately Shkhara was behind clouds

We tried to drive closer to Shkhara, but finally road ends and head-sized rocks ahead stopped us. There were around 5 tents with mountaineers ready to climb to Shkhara.

Ancient Ushguli

Direction Mestia

Road was closed with gate, probably because animals.

Old house

Ushba, 4690m

Mestia ahead.

In Mestia we entered a different world. New buildings and massive roadworks. It was clearly visible that money has entered this city. That great peaceful and ancient atmosphere may be soon disappeared

Main street


Time for a lunch, local restaurant

After lunch Raul managed to crash in main street, driving into deep hole hided in puddle. Unfortunately he's tankbag wasn't closed correctly and he dropped his camera into muddy water. I managed to get this on my GoPro Unfortunately no more pictures with Raul's camera...luckily my camera was still ok
And like this wasn't enough, few km's after Mestia on dusty concrete he managed to make a perfect 180 degree spin into chicane and not to crash before he was moving backwards! It was terrifying to see, luckily no more harm was done than scratched corner on Touratech Zega pannier. We decided that we maybe have pushed our lack too far today and it's time to find a place for camp.

Heavy roadworks. Cars were waiting in a long queue, we could pass much faster!

After some searching we found a place near one farm. Testing some georgian wine.

It's a little bit unclear, what happened to our tent?

Sunset time

Khinkalis for supper!

We had no color film.

Today was quite short, around 110km. Tomorrow - Bathumi and Black Sea!

Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
randel is offline   Reply With Quote