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Old 06-26-2011, 09:18 PM   #931
IRideASlowBike
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How's your air filter doing after that sand storm?
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:57 PM   #932
TallRob
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The kid on the big guys shirt: 2 in the Pink, 1 in the Stink!...OK im going to hell...
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:28 PM   #933
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TallRob View Post
The kid on the big guys shirt: 2 in the Pink, 1 in the Stink!...OK im going to hell...
thats nothin, in Armenia, they put up a monument. heres a pic from last years trip

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Old 06-26-2011, 10:55 PM   #934
opaque_machete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
thats nothin, in Armenia, they put up a monument. heres a pic from last years trip
That is just too funny!
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:09 AM   #935
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Dude....the things you experience on your trips......WOW!!!



be careful out there, and GodSpeed!!!
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:14 AM   #936
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Crossing the border on a Monday morning was a lot nicer than a weekend. Was almost no line & I got thru fast. The Georgia side surprised me, as they had a brand new huge building. There were a couple guys who remembered me from last year, & seemed amazed that I came back. Well, I LIKE Georgia. The beach towns were deserted, & traffic was light. Of course there were still cows blissfully ignoring the green fields, in order to lounge in the middle of the road & annoy the drivers. At times, its sort of like a slalom race, except the cones are moving, adding to the fun!
I got to batumi, & turned right. This looks like a shorter way to Tlibisi, plus, I wanted to take a different road than last year. I actually wanted to take this southern route last year on the chopper, but missed the turnoff, as its not marked very well. (turns out Im glad that happened!)
The road on the map looked the same as the other route. & was ok for 70km or so, but as it started to climb, it got a bit worse, then it pretty much ended.
OK, the Ďroadí was still there, but now it was more of a single lane trail, made of dirt & rocks. I just figured they were repairing it, & it would get better soon, but it didnít. It kept going up. And then the clouds I saw in the distance turned out to be lower than the peak, & it started to rain a little. Great! Mud! Even better! Ok, it really wasnít THAT bad, but it wasnít that good either. One thing for sure, the people were very friendly. Every village I went thru, they were waving & saying hello. Some asked me to stop. When anyone I talked to found out I was from America, their eyes got big, & they started talking faster than I could understand (not that my Russian is very good, but I can sort of get by on the basics) One old guy even smacked himself over the heart & got all funny lookin, but in a nice way. Most people up here were just amazed to see a bike. I hadnít seen a bike in a long time. Several asked me to stop, but it was still a ways to a decent sized town, and I wanted to make it by dark.
Well, that didnít happen. The sun was going down, the rain was off & on, & the clouds were thick, I couldnít see much. There was no traffic anymore. I had to skirt a few mudslides, and cross a few small creeks. Finally, I seemed to get to the peak. There was a monument that said it was 2000 meters high. And a small scattering of houses at the top. No people tho, except for 2 that were so amazed at looking at me, they didnít say anything, just stared, as I took a few pics of the top. Right past that, I saw something bright, & thought maybe I was almost thru the clouds, but no, it was just fields full of snow, reflecting the last rays of light. Was about 3 feet thick, and still covering the road a little. Now the road starts going down, theres some more houses, but again, no people. No stores, no nothing. All I had was my emergency salami, cheese & cookies.
I always try to carry these 3 staples stashed somewhere, as salami doesnít really go bad, and cookies are always pretty good. But, I didnít have much water with me. Oh well, Iíll survive! I found a nice waterfall along the road, but the only problem was the water then went across the road, so I had to pass thru it. I got off & looked at the raging cascade, but it didnít look that deep. By now its dark tho, and the water is clear, but hard to judge the depth with a flashlight. Screw it, theres no way around it, so in it I went. I think it was only up to my axles, but I didnít stop midstream to measure it. I made it thru, then a little later was another one. I guess the snow is still melting off the peak. After this, its pitch black, & I decided to find a place to camp. The only problem, there wasnít any. To the left was a rock wall, to the right was nothing, just a cliff. Finally, I see what looks like a small grassy area off to the right, & stop to check it out. Its on a slight slope, but I figure I can get the bike down easy, & more important, back up in the morning, so I camped in some trees.

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Old 06-27-2011, 10:15 AM   #937
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The new border complex, the building looks like a puzzle piece, which I thought was oddly appropriate


Ancient fortress near the border



I stopped & got a coke at a small store, this lady was very nice, & was talking my ear off. But, this is what you must deal with in Georgia. Very friendly people everywhere, & they like to talk, even if you donít understand much



As the road climbed up, the scenery got better







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Old 06-27-2011, 10:16 AM   #938
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Gas station. When I stopped, the guys came over to talk to me & see where I was from.


Middle of nowhere, & this kid spoke English.


The road gets a bit worseÖÖ.



This village was pretty much empty, just some old soviet era buildings




This was a local bus. I saw a few of these, some were full of people. This gave me some idea of the road condition ahead.


Then I got up to the clouds

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Old 06-27-2011, 10:19 AM   #939
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See the dark spot on the bridge?


It was about 7 feet long, 2 feet wide. I didnít want to be riding after sunset!




Finally, I reached the top!





If it was daytime, you could see the nice waterfall & creek I had to cross


My lovely dinner


The camp in the morning


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Old 06-27-2011, 10:21 AM   #940
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I got in the middle of this herd, when 2 bulls started to fight about 10 feet from me. Was a bit unnerving!


Which way? Both lanes look like the same amount of traffic. The one to the right had the bigger rocks, so I took it.


Finally, I come to a small village with a store.


And then, PAVEMENT! After 100km of dirt, this was a welcome sight!




I saw a sign for an old monastery, so I went to look at it.
Up this Ďroadí a bit




Inside was pretty cool




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Old 06-27-2011, 10:24 AM   #941
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Almost to Tlibisi!


I spent a nite in Tlibisi, before heading to Azerbaijan. I was here last year, so didnít bother to go see anything again.

I did enjoy a big mac & free wifi at McDís tho!
I really like the Georgian alphabet. Its really cool looking to me, and I donít think it would be hard to learn, with a little time.



Waiting to cross the border.


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Old 06-27-2011, 11:18 AM   #942
Dickyb
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Rock on Doug.........

First he's chillin' with the fans






Then down to business







Altogether now............


"Every day when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I'd stare too long
I'd probably break down......again


Oh,oh,oh,oh Sweet Dirtster o' mine
Sweet love of may-yay-yine"






Keep on rockin' Doug.



All the best,


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Old 06-27-2011, 11:46 AM   #943
Jacl-Kampuchea
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Beautiful photo's Doug.

Love those road shots.

Can emathatise with the moving livestock bollards and ruined bridges on B roads over here too, mind you!

This RR is on the move
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:09 PM   #944
Mr Pif
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
Finally, we see the monastery. WOW!




Was a bit wet up here













i had read a ride report 8 years ago in a motorcycle magazine about the trip of 3 motorcycles around this place and i was impressed by their fotos.now i'm sure that the whole scenery must be beyond any expectacion!
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:23 PM   #945
sion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
See the dark spot on the bridge?


It was about 7 feet long, 2 feet wide. I didn’t want to be riding after sunset!

DH!....that woulda left a mark...or three...hundred...yikes...


ride safe bro...we wanna see you make it to Magadan!
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