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Old 03-22-2012, 02:27 PM   #51
randel OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Mattighofen
Oddometer: 318
Our route on day 6

Day 7

Morning came with usual routine - I was preparing breakfast, Jänx packing our tent and other stuff and of course making notes from previous days highlights. Our plan for today was Tusheti - one of the most beautiful and remote mountain regions of Georgia, with its amazing alpine meadows, snowy mountains, glaciers and a variety of forests. It is one of the most ecologically unspoiled regions in the Caucasus. The area comprises ten villages with Omalo being the largest. (From
We planned to follow small gravel road through Akhmeta to Pshaveli and then ride north until road ends.

Overtaking trucks wasn't easy

Cows looking for shelter

Collecting drinking water. We used such taps everywhere and had no complaints about water quality.

Old classic - GAZ-21 Volga - this car was only reserved for directors in the past.

We checked out abandoned Kvetera church on hilltop. They have great system for traffic signs about sightseeing places in Georgia. First sign is probably 500-1000 meters before actual intersection so you don't have to slow down immediately but can decide, would you like to check it out or not and then make a turn on time.
We met a group of polish travelers with two SUV's there.

From inside

We turned north to Tusheti and started to slowly climb to Abano pass - highest in Georgia with 2900 meters (9500ft).
Asphalt was soon replaced with gravel and road turns narrower and narrower.

Washing visor with icecold water

Of course no barriers. At first uncomfortable, but we soon got used to such "freedom"

Approximately at 1000 meters, It feels like we are already on top, but actually it's still almost 2000 more meters to climb.

Biggest truck we saw - old russian 6x6. It takes a real man to drive that truck on this road!

Road servicing equipment.

We climbed and cimbed until we were BEYOND CLOUDS

Road was sometimes quite whoopy - wheeling steep uphill, 3rd gear, 70-80km/h, on 2 meter wide road makes you really feel alive

Until we finally reached Abano pass, 2923m. My carbed 950SE with H2W (sea level) jetting kit had no problems, of course a little bit less poer and starting the engine required little throttle, but otherwise perfect!
We met a group of italian tourists there with two minibuses, they offered us a drink, but we decided it's really not a place to drink and drive
Now we have to decend to Omalo. It's more than 1000m lower somewhere there.

Road to Omalo. Just amazing! There is no electricity and people live there only few months in a year when that road is passable. Remote and wild part of Georgia.

We encountered two types of drivers in mountains. Some will let you pass rather quickly, but others seemed to try to block your overtaking attempts like Felipe Massa or Lewis Hamilton in F1. You really have to watch your moment when they lost attention or there is a wider section somewhere and then go, fast!
We finally reach Omalo. It's like medieval city.

Roads in Tusheti

After driving around some hours, we felt like it's time to drive back to civilization. When driving back up to Abano pass, weather changed and it started to rain. It wasn't very pleasing ride through clouds on wet rocks, and always knowing that's right next to you is invisible drop of few hundred meters. We finally reached top and started to decend, weather was not so bad anymore.

As we realized now, sunset wasn't far away and we are still on the mountains. Next km's was best described as "stand-up, drive as fast as you can, don't kill your brakes and try to stay on the road". We survived.
As Telavi was not too far away and we feel that today we would like to have a room and shower, we decided to find a Bed&Breakfast there. Finally with a help of a taxi driver we found a simple room for 20lari (ca10 Euro)

After shower we took a walk to Telavi center, but it was so quiet we soon decided to return with some local drinks. First night in a bed!

Todays route, 216km

Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
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