Day 99. 85km. Khulo – Batumi

Posted: May 21, 2015 in Cycling, Georgia
Tags: , , ,

In Turkey we were invited to endless cups of tea. Today, in Georgia, we were invited to endless glasses of vodka. Flagged down from the road, the elderly gentlemen kissed us both on the lips, and invited us in for some vodka and sausage. He kissed us multiple times on the lips, made sure the vodka glasses were always full, and insisted we eat his sausage. Wonderful Georgian hospitality.

Drinks with a friend

Drinks with a friend

We woke up and looked out the window to see flurries of snow blowing around. Further investigations revealed the pass ahead was closed – not just for silly cyclists but for everyone. The forecast was for a lovely day followed by snow, snow and snow. There was no denying it – it was time for plan B. Back down the valley to the Black Sea.

The same valley was beautiful: blossoming trees bathed in glorious sunlight, with the newly whitened mountains as a backdrop. James and I took lots of photos, and made lots of videos, before the pub-crawl started.

Mountains

Mountains

Flowers and mountains

Flowers and mountains

Flowers

Flowers

Roof and mountains

Roof and mountains

We were brought to the back room by the elderly gentleman and seated. He waved to the barman who pulled out a vast glass keg of clear liquid that he funnelled into a smaller glass bottle. A plate of sausage materialised as well as bread. Motivated by my three words of Russian, the man proceeded to lecture us in Russian, encouraging us to drink. Like in the fairy tails, the glasses never emptied. The bright daylight streamed in through the small window, making it feel like an inappropriate hour to be hitting the booze. The drinks were punctuated with lip-kisses, which I failed every time to capture on video.

I sipped at my first and only glass. James did the drinking for the two of us, making sure that we were not insulting by rejecting this fine Georgian hospitality. I reminded James that we still had 70km to cycle. He seemed to be captivated by the offering of vodka, lip-kisses and sausage. Finally we bade our host farewell, and cycled a further 40km down the mountain before being invited for our next round of vodka.

Next round of vodka

Next round of vodka

When the weather is good and the road not too long and challenging, we take time to stop and ‘smell the flowers’. Life is all about taking time and smelling the flowers, and this world bike trip for me is about enjoying life while I can – now. This smelling the flowers, letting things happen and going with the flow, is a wonderful part of tour cycling. Every day is different, and what happens is never something you could have predicted the evening before. Tomorrow constant rain is forecast. Maybe we will smell some wet flowers. I wonder what they will be like.

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