VAEGABOND - Most dangerous road in the world
It has already been a lot going on again in the past couple of weeks. In Kazbegi near the russian border we actually went hiking for once. But it was worth it and it wasn't even that bad ;) We went to the Gergeti Trinity Church, from where we had a stunning view over Stepantsminda. The next day we went back towards Gudauri, past the monument of the georgian-russian friendship. Not far from that we built up our camp and had a fantastic view on the high Caucasus.
We cycled back towards the valley and Melli had a pretty bad encounter with some stray dogs. Cyclers are not what you see everyday here in Georiga. Usually we cycle slowly past loudly barking dogs, talk calmingly to them and then they leave us. But one of the dogs didn't let that impress him and Melli was biten. Just to be safe, she got booster vaccinations against tetanus and rabies in a hospital in Kakheti. Luckily we some really nice people, that invited us over to them and supported us with the hospital process when we were there. At that oppurtunity we also learned how to make Khinkali ourselves. That is basically one of the best meals in Georgia, that we're crazy for.
You can imagine them like Dumplings, big noodles filled with minced meat. Very very tasty!
After that we went to Tusheti and with that also to the most dangerous road in the world. This region is also known for being one of the most beautiful in the entire world. The way leads over the infamous Abano pass that lies on almost 3.000 meters. We made a date with our french bike friend, that we had first met in Turkey. He travels by his folding bike and because the route is so unfit for his bike, we sticked our thumbs out and met some funny georgians. Although were thrown around on the truck bed, the view on the landscape and the road that made its way through the massif was just amazing. Halfway we got a melon and Chacha. Coincidentally a group of Georgian cowboys came by and without further do Melli was sat on a horse. That was really fun!
Arriving the top we had a free view on the mountains villages. Now also we can confirm it. This region really is one of the most beautiful in Georgia. Though, the villagers are seperated from the rest of the world during winter. The pass closes when it's covered in snow around October and opens back up around May. For emergencies there's a helicopter though. After a few days it was over the Abano pass back to the village for us and were really interested how well we would get on with our bikes. That ended up looking like this: the worse the street, the prettier thr landscape. The first day often had more than 20% of a rise, Melli pushed her bike almost the entire way to the pass. Dani was still able to cycle, but he stopped every 5 meters to catch his breath ;) We built up our camp for the night at the Chacha cowboy rest area. The next day we were surrounded by fog. This day was similar to the first, just that now it was very cold and the wind was alright. When we finally arrived at the pass, we camped near a church and hoped for the weather to get better the next day. We wanted to have a free view on the gigantic road to the valley.
Unfortunatly we weren't that lucky and the next day you could only see 7 meters far. In addition to that it started to rain, which soaked through our bike bags, that were already soggy enough. The bags opened at the seams and we couldn't close them even with two tubes of special glue... By the way who wants to support us with replacing our equipment finds more information on our website.
So we stayed another day on the pass because obviously we wanted to see where we would cycle. We asked a car that was passing by for water, but then we realised, that it was a whole squad of 7 SUVs. Turned out it was all polish and they were on their way from home to Tusheti. They were really nice, because when the man that we had asked gave us two bottles, all travelers wanted to make their contribution. After not even a minute we had a Aldi cooling bag with treats like biscuits, beer, bread, pickled fish, sausage and canned meat. So now on our second day on the pass, we basically had a whole meal, even though of the constant rain and the cold.
Then the weather fortunately cleared up and we ended up having a pretty good view on the path downwards. All in all definitely an adventure, that we won't forget!
Best wishes from on the way,
Melli & Dani