Georgia revisited

by Kostadin Mutafchiev

8689km in 28 days · 543 views

Day 1, Sunday, May 7

383km in 5h · 78km/h
  • Traveled 64km in 52min
  • 12:34 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 75km in 55min
  • 13:35 56min The only restaurant I know of in Kalofer - the aptly named "Panorama"
  • Traveled 173km in 1h 51min
  • 16:23 22min Gas, coffee and some air both for me and the bike
  • Traveled 72km in 1h 04min
  • 17:49 16h 19min Visiting a friend on the way is always a good idea

Day 2, Monday, May 8

356km in 5h · 41km/h
  • Traveled 119km in 1h 44min
  • 11:53 23min A small detour to Gramatikovo along the now very passable road between Tzarevo and Malko Tarnovo
  • Traveled 24km in 31min
  • 12:48 12min Quick pastry stop
  • Traveled 8km in 9min
  • 13:10 6min Bulgarian border
  • Traveled 305m in 1min
  • 13:17 14min Turkish border, surprisingly they checked my luggage
  • Traveled 45m in 14s
  • 13:32 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 90km in 1h 10min
  • 14:47 Stop for 16min
  • Traveled 380m in 54s
  • 15:04 6min The search for cash and local SIM
  • Traveled 667m in 1min
  • 15:12 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 200m in 38s
  • 15:15 16min The search for cash and local SIM, finished
  • Traveled 113km in 1h 38min
  • 17:10 16h 36min A small and cheap hotel near the new Istanbul airport with a view to the sea and a campsite with its own flock of chickens inside

Day 3, Tuesday, May 9

537km in 7h · 68km/h
  • Traveled 66km in 49min
  • 10:37 7min Some navigation preparations after the highway/bridge part
  • Traveled 112km in 2h 01min
  • 12:45 32min A stop after the madness of the Istanbul traffic was gone
  • Traveled 168km in 1h 49min
  • 15:08 1h 01min A very nice roadside restaurant
  • Traveled 159km in 1h 43min
  • 17:52 20min A well-timed, albeit by chance, stop for fuel to wait out the rain
  • Traveled 32km in 27min
  • 18:41 6min Unloading the bike before parking it for the night
  • Traveled 16m in 3s
  • 18:47 14h 31min Afyonkarahisar and its fortress towering over the city

Day 4, Wednesday, May 10

496km in 6h · 72km/h
  • Traveled 0m in 0s
  • 09:18 8min Loading
  • Traveled 105km in 1h 10min
  • 10:37 21min It was high time for some chain maintenance in the middle of nowhere
  • Traveled 39km in 34min
  • 11:33 4min Nasreddin Hoca's supposed birthplace
  • Traveled 89km in 1h 03min
  • 12:41 2min Some wordplay shennanigans
  • Traveled 51km in 30min
  • 13:13 Stop for 11min
  • Traveled 40km in 23min
  • 13:49 25min Tuz Golu, a salt lake.
  • Traveled 49km in 37min
  • 14:52 36min Mehmet's kofte was super nice, Mehmet as well
  • Traveled 40km in 41min
  • 16:10 2min Random Ottoman bridge, visibly restored recently
  • Traveled 84km in 1h 09min
  • 17:21 16h 36min Passing through Capadoccia again, meeting my parents (for their surprise)

Day 5, Thursday, May 11

451km in 6h · 50km/h
  • Traveled 126km in 1h 27min
  • 11:25 16min A fuel stop coupled with a cup of tea and a chat with the station manager about taxes and politics
  • Traveled 67km in 51min
  • 12:33 12min Stop for a bit of suspension adjustment and getting some more clothes on as it is a bit cold for May
  • Traveled 56km in 43min
  • 13:29 35min Yazilikkaya, Hitite ceremonial complex
  • Traveled 201m in 25s
  • 14:05 12min Hatussa, Lower city and the famous greenstone
  • Traveled 1km in 1min
  • 14:19 18min Hatussa, Lion's Gate and one bus of italians
  • Traveled 566m in 2min
  • 14:41 28min Hatussa, Phoenix Gate & Tunnel
  • Traveled 462m in 1min
  • 15:10 3min Hatussa, King's Gate
  • Traveled 548m in 1min
  • 15:15 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 199km in 2h 51min
  • 18:11 15h 59min I missed the working hours of the castle, there was a meeting in the center. Only managed to have dinner and sleep in Tokat.

Day 6, Friday, May 12

207km in 4h · 51km/h
  • Traveled 5km in 11min
  • 10:23 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 91km in 1h 28min
  • 11:55 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 33km in 49min
  • 12:47 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 35km in 38min
  • 13:29 1h 27min Lunch time over the sea shore
  • Traveled 14km in 14min
  • 15:11 39min Jason's (from Jason and the Argonauts) landing point (supposedly)
  • Traveled 30km in 26min
  • 16:18 17h 16min (this is supposed to be in Giresun) The weather was pissing, literally. Used a cafe and a manti restaurant as shelters in the evening walk

Day 7, Saturday, May 13

312km in 4h · 71km/h
  • Traveled 31km in 24min
  • 09:59 31min Rain has intensified so it's time for full wet suit. And also some fuel.
  • Traveled 103km in 1h 30min
  • 12:02 9min Somehow the tracker finds the 14km tunnel as a 9 min stop
  • Traveled 33km in 33min
  • 12:45 1h 23min Sumela Monastery - used until rather recently (1923), dates back to the early chritianty. Probably makes more sense to visit it during the week and on a clear day
  • Traveled 38km in 35min
  • 14:43 9min Somehow the tracker finds the 14km tunnel as a 9 min stop
  • Traveled 108km in 1h 12min
  • 16:05 17h 42min Bayburt was a pleasant surprise with its nice walkways around the river and general tidiness

Day 8, Sunday, May 14

456km in 6h · 56km/h
  • Traveled 6km in 7min
  • 09:55 8min Quick fuel stop
  • Traveled 17km in 10min
  • 10:14 2min Snowy peaks <3
  • Traveled 23km in 16min
  • 10:33 3min First snow of the trip. Foreshadowing.
  • Traveled 259km in 2h 49min
  • 13:26 7min Another quick one
  • Traveled 99km in 1h 12min
  • 14:47 2min The coldest point so far - 1.0 degrees at 2550 m above sea level
  • Traveled 35km in 32min
  • 15:21 8min Turkish border control on the way out. The border crossing is under construction and is kind of tricky to find your way.
  • Traveled 75m in 46s
  • 15:31 9min "Vehicle registration" part. No signs, of course. Got escorted to the proper building by a helpful border police officer.
  • Traveled 27m in 9s
  • 15:41 8min Georgia border, a lot smoother and in one place
  • Traveled 705m in 2min
  • 15:51 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 17km in 17min
  • 16:11 16h 57min The coldest ever hotel. In Akhaltsikhe

Day 9, Monday, May 15

125km in 4h · 30km/h
  • Traveled 27km in 30min
  • 09:40 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 16km in 46min
  • 10:30 4min Little did I know what was up on SH14
  • Traveled 4km in 13min
  • 10:48 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 665m in 2min
  • 10:52 3min The top of Zekari pass marked the end of the rocky climb and the start of the snowy descent
  • Traveled 13km in 36min
  • 11:32 8min Quick stop for some rest below the snowline
  • Traveled 49km in 1h 05min
  • 12:46 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 37m in 6s
  • 12:50 30min Fuel and chain maintenance that was much overdue at this point
  • Traveled 15km in 21min
  • 13:42 1d 19h A rest day in Kutaisi. Found the Irish pub with the Czech beer.

Day 10, Tuesday, May 16

Day 11, Wednesday, May 17

369km in 7h · 43km/h
  • Traveled 16km in 21min
  • 09:50 19min One of the several abandoned sanatoriums in Tskaltubo, near Kutaisi. This one is called Immerti
  • Traveled 29km in 34min
  • 10:44 25min Ophitara waterfall on the way to Lenthekhi
  • Traveled 97km in 1h 54min
  • 13:03 8min Construction workers said the road ends 3km later. Time for a U-turn.
  • Traveled 72km in 1h 23min
  • 14:35 1h 07min Lunch and detour planning - next night will be in Zugdidi, rather than Mestia
  • Traveled 123km in 2h 13min
  • 17:57 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 29km in 31min
  • 18:33 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 2km in 4min
  • 18:39 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 8m in 3s
  • 18:42 14h 21min Zugdidi is not much to write home about, but it has a nice "bothanical garden" (more like a park with paid access, but still nice)

Day 12, Thursday, May 18

144km in 3h · 44km/h
  • Traveled 40km in 42min
  • 09:46 6min Enguri dam wall
  • Traveled 51km in 1h 00min
  • 10:54 13min A genetic hydration stop and some rest in between the pot holes of the main road to Mestia
  • Traveled 25km in 34min
  • 11:41 11min Nearing Mestia and the snowy peaks reveal themselves
  • Traveled 23km in 31min
  • 12:24 8min The first Svaneti towers showed up
  • Traveled 6km in 12min
  • 12:45 20h 16min Staying at a hotel with its own river crossing

Day 13, Friday, May 19

220km in 5h · 26km/h
  • Traveled 8km in 22min
  • 09:24 8min First photo stop just after the "Cross over Mestia"
  • Traveled 2km in 8min
  • 09:41 2h 08min Snow and 4x4 have made the road a bad idea for a 2-up ride, so we continued on foot for another 2 kilometers
  • Traveled 430m in 3min
  • 11:53 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 2km in 5min
  • 12:03 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 8km in 21min
  • 12:29 7min Souvenirs before leaving Mestia
  • Traveled 242m in 44s
  • 12:37 1h 18min Lile restaurant for a snack before departure
  • Traveled 110km in 2h 12min
  • 16:08 23min Gas and chain maintenance as already customary
  • Traveled 90km in 1h 37min
  • 18:10 15h 56min The dullest town in Georgia - Poti

Day 14, Saturday, May 20

176km in 3h · 53km/h
  • Traveled 164km in 2h 21min
  • 12:28 45min A stop at the Katskhi pillar
  • Traveled 11km in 18min
  • 13:33 19h 56min Chiatura and its lifts for the night

Day 15, Sunday, May 21

184km in 3h · 46km/h
  • Traveled 66km in 59min
  • 10:29 Stop for 17min
  • Traveled 23km in 20min
  • 11:07 1h 11min Stalin museum in Gori (his birthplace)
  • Traveled 14km in 19min
  • 12:38 2h 23min Uplistsikhe cave complex
  • Traveled 796m in 1min
  • 15:03 1h 04min Late lunch after the caves
  • Traveled 39km in 36min
  • 16:44 5min Rain mode on as we are approaching Tbilisi
  • Traveled 41km in 52min
  • 17:42 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 3m in 2s
  • 17:46 1d 15h A rest day in Tbilisi

Day 16, Monday, May 22

Day 17, Tuesday, May 23

210km in 4h · 46km/h
  • Traveled 15km in 33min
  • 10:18 39min Chronicles of Georgia - a massive monument commemorating questionable facts
  • Traveled 51km in 59min
  • 11:58 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 10km in 13min
  • 12:14 32min Ananuri - more of a monastery than a fortress.
  • Traveled 10km in 9min
  • 12:56 1h 31min Lunch on the way to Gergeti
  • Traveled 48km in 54min
  • 15:22 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 2km in 3min
  • 15:28 25min Another monument of something practically non-existent - the Russia - Georgia friendship. Also, the truck drivers on this road are mental.
  • Traveled 34km in 47min
  • 16:42 6min A nice spot for photos of the Gergeti Trinity Church from afar
  • Traveled 615m in 1min
  • 16:49 36min The church itself with views to Kazbegi and Shani peaks
  • Traveled 7km in 9min
  • 17:36 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 21km in 20min
  • 18:00 6min Some rusty Pamukkale type of sight
  • Traveled 11km in 14min
  • 18:22 15h 47min A "spa" hotel in Gudauri. An Indian restaurant across the street. Multi-culti.

Day 18, Wednesday, May 24

262km in 5h · 46km/h
  • Traveled 64km in 1h 04min
  • 11:14 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 58km in 1h 05min
  • 12:22 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 2km in 2min
  • 12:28 29min It got so hot (30+ C) we needed a stop for ice cream and some shade
  • Traveled 82km in 1h 20min
  • 14:17 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 11km in 15min
  • 14:35 1h 20min Bodbe Monastery and its fantastic garden
  • Traveled 46km in 45min
  • 16:41 Stop for 6min
  • Traveled 5m in 2s
  • 16:47 Stop for 1d 17h

Day 19, Thursday, May 25

Day 20, Friday, May 26

311km in 4h · 63km/h
  • Traveled 2km in 3min
  • 10:12 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 95km in 1h 22min
  • 11:39 Stop for 11min
  • Traveled 133km in 1h 47min
  • 13:38 Stop for 9min
  • Traveled 47km in 34min
  • 14:21 Stop for 26min
  • Traveled 33km in 36min
  • 15:25 18h 30min Last stop in Georgia - Borjomi

Day 21, Saturday, May 27

274km in 4h · 31km/h
  • Traveled 11m in 3s
  • 09:55 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 1km in 3min
  • 10:01 8min Sendin post cards and filling up
  • Traveled 92km in 1h 29min
  • 11:39 47min Khertvisi fortress
  • Traveled 16km in 18min
  • 12:45 2h 51min Vardzia cave complex
  • Traveled 1km in 2min
  • 15:39 58min Last bites of Georgian food before we enter Turkey
  • Traveled 1km in 3min
  • 16:41 4min Some nice views over the valley with Vardzia in it
  • Traveled 4km in 10min
  • 16:55 6min More views
  • Traveled 30km in 33min
  • 17:35 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 17km in 19min
  • 17:58 5min Georgian border - grumpy, but non-problematic border police officer
  • Traveled 94m in 24s
  • 18:04 7min Passport check for entering Turkey. We're the only non-lorry vehicle
  • Traveled 104m in 28s
  • 18:12 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 0m in 0s
  • 18:16 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 234m in 1min
  • 18:20 5min Suiting up for the colder weather in the high Anatolian plateu
  • Traveled 110km in 1h 25min
  • 19:51 14h 49min A sort of late and cold arrival in Kars - rain and 10 C.

Day 22, Sunday, May 28

400km in 5h · 75km/h
  • Traveled 5km in 11min
  • 10:52 8min Fuel time with joyful locals
  • Traveled 43km in 32min
  • 11:33 2h 34min The Ani ruins
  • Traveled 124km in 1h 25min
  • 15:33 57min A late lunch is better than no lunch. It was also very good.
  • Traveled 91km in 1h 07min
  • 17:38 5min Some of us prepare for the eventual rain (that never came)
  • Traveled 53km in 37min
  • 18:21 25min Fuel and some maintenance - chain, tire pressure.
  • Traveled 15km in 10min
  • 18:57 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 69km in 56min
  • 19:56 13h 39min Arrived in Van just before the election results were in. Pure luck.

Day 23, Monday, May 29

416km in 6h · 49km/h
  • Traveled 132km in 1h 39min
  • 11:16 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 22km in 27min
  • 11:47 1d 22h Entering the Nemrut crater
  • Traveled 2km in 3min
  • 11:55 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 7km in 13min
  • 12:12 29min Nemrut crater lake
  • Traveled 1km in 2min
  • 12:44 5min Some more pictures around the Nemrut crater
  • Traveled 7km in 9min
  • 12:59 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 7km in 8min
  • 13:10 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 76km in 1h 03min
  • 14:16 16min Fuel stop after some rain
  • Traveled 30km in 24min
  • 14:57 1h 08min A late lunch, but a good and cheap one.
  • Traveled 132km in 1h 47min
  • 17:53 Stop for 7min
  • Traveled 0m in 0s
  • 18:01 Stop for 16h 03min

Day 24, Tuesday, May 30

448km in 5h · 71km/h
  • Traveled 86km in 1h 12min
  • 11:16 5min Water cistern system in Dara
  • Traveled 817m in 2min
  • 11:24 1h 17min Burial site dug in the rocks
  • Traveled 71km in 46min
  • 13:28 22min Gas, soda and ice cream
  • Traveled 133km in 1h 25min
  • 15:16 2h 14min Gobeklitepe, one of the most important archeological sites for understanding the earliest societies (according to the site's narrative, of course)
  • Traveled 158km in 1h 59min

Day 25, Wednesday, May 31

550km in 8h · 60km/h
  • Traveled 1km in 3min
  • 10:04 9min Loading as the hotel did not have a parking
  • Traveled 165km in 2h 11min
  • 12:26 31min Fuel & Ice cream has become the norm
  • Traveled 117km in 1h 43min
  • 14:41 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 30km in 50min
  • 15:34 49min Rather expensive, and also subpar, lunch at a truck stop after a surprise unpaved pass powered by Map Factor's navigation choices
  • Traveled 38km in 33min
  • 16:57 6min Only fuel this time. This was the first station to have petrol for the last 40-ish kilometers - only diesel for the trucks.
  • Traveled 199km in 2h 10min
  • 19:14 14h 38min Late arrival in Konya, time was only just enough for dinner.

Day 26, Thursday, June 1

472km in 5h · 87km/h
  • Traveled 141km in 1h 35min
  • 11:28 27min A close call with the fuel - range indicator surrendered few kilometers before the gas station.
  • Traveled 153km in 1h 46min
  • 13:42 1h 08min Nice lunch at a roadside restaurant. Unfortunately, the rain caught with us and we had to start with the rain proofs on.
  • Traveled 90km in 57min
  • 15:48 8min Quick refuel
  • Traveled 88km in 1h 07min
  • 17:05 16h 02min Iznik (Nikea) is a nice lakeside town that is still contained within the old walls. Hotel was nice, although the main street was quite noisy.

Day 27, Friday, June 2

546km in 7h · 75km/h
  • Traveled 87km in 1h 17min
  • 10:25 55min Stopped at probably the worst cafe in Turkey, which had the least communicative waiter in it.
  • Traveled 106km in 1h 24min
  • 12:45 39min Gas, ice cream and chain maintenance
  • Traveled 226km in 2h 27min
  • 15:52 1h 25min A late lunch and last chance to buy turkish sweets for presents at home
  • Traveled 21km in 14min
  • 17:33 Stop for 9min
  • Traveled 9km in 6min
  • 17:49 13min Ipsala border crossing, turkish side
  • Traveled 2km in 4min
  • 18:07 14min Ipsala border crossing, greek side
  • Traveled 93km in 55min
  • 19:17 15h 15min A refreshing stop in Komotini - a smaller, quiter town than what we had the last few days.

Day 28, Saturday, June 3

384km in 6h · 59km/h
  • Traveled 99km in 1h 44min
  • 12:17 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 7km in 8min
  • 12:29 1h 23min Time to remember what bulgarian restaurants offer after a month away.
  • Traveled 97km in 1h 51min
  • 15:43 6min Some fuel before the rain kicked in and followed us mostly till the end.
  • Traveled 34km in 34min
  • 16:24 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 52km in 51min
  • 17:19 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 94km in 1h 11min

Legend

  • Generic stop 33
  • Tourist sight 24
  • Gas station 23
  • Hotel 22
  • Restaurant 15
  • Beautiful sight 13
  • Border 9
  • Beach 1
  • Something special 1
  • Coffee 1