Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Georgia part 2: to hitch or not to hike?

March 4th, 10:15AM, we were at the door of Iranian Embassy, full of hope about this precious paper that is called Iranian visa.

It was so quick. The guy who wanted to extort us went to the Consul's bureau, got out 1mn later with our visas ready. Yahoo!!!! We can go to Iran now (and to ask for more visas there.....)
As planned, with Taylor, we decided to go for a hitchhiking trip. The first time we hitchhiked was in Trabzon, for a forty something kms trip to Sumela Monastery. It was quite fun, and as we met some hitchhikers on the way, we were quite exciting about experiencing this mode of traveling.

1:30 PM, we were at the Tbilissi mall, the exit point of town, trying to find our way to Stepantsminda. The first car stopped after 10 mn of thumb up. They were a middle age couple whose sun is kinda traveler too. We might remind them of their faraway child, on the unknowed route of Tibet :-).

The second one was the President of Martial Arts Association in Tbilissi, on his way to his boxing training session. We didn't quite understand wether he trained others or it was for himself...

The third man wondered why we wanted to go to such a cold place and gave us a lift until his small village.

The fourth one had a Russian car but we were not sure wether he was Russian or Azeri. Maybe Azeri-born Russian? We had very interesting discussion with him. When we introduced ourselves, he seemed shocked that an American guy (Taylor, our Warm Shower host) and a Vietnamese girl could travel friendly together. I tried to say that the war was such a long time ago, that it's normal to be friends but he seemed not convinced.
Then it was our turn to have a shock when he asked Taylor "Is it true that there are a lot of niggers in America?" We had to ask him 3 times to be sure about the question, the N word seemed to entertain him a lot....
Very disappointed that we had not been and wouldn't go to Azerbaijan (because of visa and timing issues) he asked wether we had been in Turkey and how it was. And he seemed so doubtful when I enthusiastically told him that Turkey was

We stopped at a small village, at 20km from  Stepantsminda

The place was soo beautiful, a bit cold though....

We went up the hill to set the camp: it was much easier without the bicycles....

It was the full moon. There was something enchanting in the air :-)

It was such a quiet night that the sound of the falling snow at some point woke us up. Perfectly warm in our sleeping bags, it didn't bother us but then the next morning:

At least, we had plenty of water to make our hot chocolat for breakfast :-) 

It was useless to go further with this weather, we decided to hitch-hike back to Tbilissi.
After 30 second, a car stopped: it was the same man who took us yesterday. He was this time with his son who is the male singer in this Ensemble. Very nice!!! We recommend!!!

But then he put some Russian Rap that we really do not recommend!!!!!

After one hour and a half, he we were again in Tbilissi, ending this way our first temptation of hitch-hiking!

It was a fun experience but still, we prefer our bikes :-) :-)

Stay tuned for more cycling updates :-) :-)

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