A dinner of spaghetti, tuna and leftover butter from lunch followed our crèpes from the French café in Kutaisi, cooked with plenty of encouragement from local kids hanging about near the oddly named “Sports Palace”. We found a building empty apart from the splatterings of cowpats, decided it was fit for our purpose, and promptly crashed for the night.
As we woke and tasted the fig jam we had bought as a nutella substitute, the cloud cover was still thick but the road thankfully a little quieter in the morning. We cycled without much excitement until another Khatchapuri lunch in Zestafoni and a visit to a huge wholesale food center before stopping a couple of hours later at a 9th century monastery in Ubisa. Located by the bottom a valley (comforting relative to our previous climbs…), it was adorned with 14th century frescoes and overlooked by a classy tower. Ant and I snuck in and found some rather old Brandy, any ideas Pampa?!
While Alex cleaned his chain (his newfound obsession) and spoke to the church warden, Ant and I used an electricity pylon for some pull ups, went swimming in the fast-flowing river and watched a man cut down a tree…
Finally, in the afternoon, as we were climbing up the twisty road in a valley, an act of generosity of Turkish proportions came our way: we met some Armenians… They waved us over to where they were having a picnic and told us we could help them pack up their dinner as small as possible. We duly obliged and tasted some Armenian cuisine on the side of a Georgian road: some delicious new cheeses and dried meat accompanied by a couple of glasses of wine and plenty of toasts! It really was very nice of them and great to meet them; unsurprisingly, we were not too keen on cycling much further after the wine so have camped about 400m down the road by the river! Our entertainment of the evening has been 3 people coming to visit our tent, no idea why!