Today we moved on and crossed into Georgia.
We are staying overnight in Batumi and will drive close to Tbilisi tomorrow.
We had a good drive in the morning leaving the Anatolian Plateau (and the town we stayed in Gumushane) and finally going lower than 1,000m of altitude. Before doing so, we had to cross a mountain range which was again full of great scenery.
We visited the monastery of Sumelas before lunch and moved on to Trabzon on the Black Sea for lunch. Sumelas was impressive, Trabzon less so in particular considering it was the St Tropez of Turkey in ancient time before the concrete development started and destroyed all.
After the break in Trabzon we headed for Batumi in Georgia. We arrived at the border quite late and I was a bit worried that it would close for the day but it seems it is a 24/7 border crossing.
We stayed there the usual 1-2hrs to show your passport, vehicle documents etc.... to the Turkish border and custom guards to make sure you really left! and then the same thing again to make sure....actually I don't know why. Anyhow, no problems with insurance or others....it seems they don't really care there. The guys where generally quite positive when seeing the bikes and the usual questions are asked..how much the bike worth is (not from a customs point of view but more personal interest...will they ever have one!), where we are going etc...
I was quite relieved that it all went ok. I always have a bad feeling at the border...your docs are in order but you never know what they will find as excuse to get you to pay some weird tax or other thing and it is difficult to argue in a language you don't understand but most of the time they are really cool.
So we set foot in Georgia after a little while and headed for Batumi. It was all dark already and we were first a bit worried when entering town....it all seemed so different than Turkey and so run down. We decided to stay in a good hotel where we were even able to park our bikes in the garage of the owner. Alongside our two bikes are a brand new black S-class Merc and a Hummer....don't ask but at least the bikes must be secure there.
We then had a stroll in town to eat something, easier said then done as all was closed as we forgot about the time difference but we actually realised that the city is full of charm and with daylight will be really nice. I call this the darkness syndrome...everything looks dodgy in the dark.
Both Cyril and I are doing great. Oh and I forgot, I am now officially Barbarossa!
More pictures in the Album.
Chopat, tu vas voir quand tu parles de tarlouses....ca va faire tres tres mal a ton mariage.