American breakfast with Tazo was soon postponed to lunch when we received a message explaining he had been to a friend’s baby’s birthday party and so going to sleep at 4am! Alex rode into town to look for a book in a shop which claimed – though unfortunately failed – to stock it while Ant and I did various exercises and I went running in Vake Park.
Bike maintenance was the activity for the rest of the morning, though as Ant says himself he just broke it a bit more and messed up the gears! We headed to Tazo’s flat for lunch and cooked two large pots of fried potatoes, marinated chicken and lots of veg, all very heartwarming. As he left to run some errands, we headed with his brother Sandro to their country house, just west of Tbilisi and far above it where the air was cooler and the atmosphere calmer than the city centre.
As has been tradition in our few days in Tbilisi, we were fattened up most generously by Sandro’s grandmother, who treated us to an abundance of homemade Khatchapuri with watermelon, aubergine wraps and an incredible dessert called idiale (a delicious layering of pancakes, crunchy nuts, and condensed milk). We interspersed our courses with some table tennis and observation of the great views down towards Tbilisi as the sun set behind the mountains. Along with toasting to our new friends and our adventures with the help of some local wine, this created a perfect end to our time in Tbilisi encapsulating the hospitality and generosity of everyone we had met! Thank you so much to Tazo, Sandro, Maia and Bachi as well as the rest of their family for the superb welcome they treated us to – we really appreciated it!