Greetings From Georgia
Greetings from Georgia and our wee, sweet little campsite by the river, about 20km from the border crossing near Posof. What a fantastic day the riders and everyone had out on the road today! Awesome views, a monster climb, a mountain pass (2590m), rolling green hills, the sweetest downhill we have had since we began (15km and Estie could not wipe the smile off her face), a mammoth drop in temperature (and some of our riders were caught out without the warm goods necessary, no names to be mentioned) and a smooth border crossing into Georgia. Did I mention the amazing views????? Of course! As with most border crossings, time was of the essence so many of the riders opted to be lifted to the top of the mountain pass and ride from there. The wind was howling, the temperatures dropping and many rugged up (in whatever clothing they had), munched on egg salad and tuna sandwiches and “tootled” off down the hill. The support trucks were in hot pursuit as border crossings for the vehicles are a long and drawn out affair some days. The EFIers and others who had opted to depart from our bush camp and ride the whole way came through mid-morning, happy to see the top of the hill, get some food and head toward the border, a mere 30km away. The last person to conquer the mammoth morning climb was the newest addition to our cycling family, Bill Dodds, and his main quest is to keep cycling and not be transported by vehicle anywhere. Welcome Bill! By mid-afternoon, the thunder clouds had rolled in and swallowed up the border crossing in a downpour and the 5 or so riders still out on the roads were engulfed in a nice shower. This on top of dodging “rider eating” dogs and getting splattered in muck as the roads turned to a muddy, wet cycle path along the route to the campsite. The roads so far, in Georgia, have been rougher than Turkey, a mixture of gravel and asphalt with a few corregations and potholes thrown in. A few riders are hoping to change tyres tonight as tomorrow brings more bumps, more dirt roads and more rough stuff. The mountain bikers in the group are grinning! While the rain had settled in for a few hours this evening (throughout the rider meeting and then dinner), by the time the group had hit their tents for some sweet dreaming and shut-eye, the clouds had disappated and the stars were out. The herds of cattle had moved through, the mountain dogs stopped barking and for many riders, dreams of Turkey and their new country, Georgia, had begun. So, as we spend the night in our special little campsite, bike heaven continues in country number two!