The rain continued overnight and into the morning. Looking at at the map and the distance we had to cover in the time available to us we realised that after yesterday’s little palaver we couldn’t go through the mountains anymore. We needed to get to Batumi, Georgia in time for Finn to catch his flight back home. But we were still stuck up in the foothills with a flat tyre and no spare tubes and all our patches used up.
What we decided to do was to split up. We had to get back down to the coast road so Finn tried to get a lift from one of the many pickups passing by and once he had found a lift I would cycle on. Less than ten minutes later Finn had found himself a lift, threw his bike and bags in the back and I started back down the way we came yesterday.
It was overcast and the rain would occasionally drizzle down, but on the whole it wasn’t all that wet compared to yesterday. I rode along the good old Black Sea highway, at one point catching up to Finn as he waited for another lift. The highway was the same as the previous day’s ride, although this time there was a lot more tunnels.
I knew I was getting to the border when the back up of trucks started. This wasn’t half as long as the tailback of trucks before the the Turkish border but it did stretch through some tunnels which made for a tight squeeze. Arriving at the border was a bit confusing. There wasn’t any good signage and it was so busy with people and traffic I could make out the way into Georgia! I just wanted to get out of Turkey and couldn’t find the exit!
When I did find the border control the guard on the Turkish side gave me a bit of a hard time leaving until I pulled up my visa, but once at the Georgian border everything was much friendlier.
“Is that Russian bike?” One of the border guards asked.
“No, it’s American”
“You should get Russian bike, very good. Very fast. Enjoy Georgia.”
And that was it, after over a month in Turkey we had made it to the other side and into a new country! And not long after getting to the other side I passed Finn, wheeling his bike along the side of the road. He had passed me out somewhere and had made it across the border too. We figured we were close enough to Batumi now, I would ride ahead and find somewhere to stay and wait for Finn. As it turns out Batumi is quite a confusing place to get navigate, very few road signs and a lot of high rise buildings that you would assume would lead you to the city center but they are mostly unfinished.
It also was a bit further to the city than we anticipated. 15km from the border all together but with the confusing city to navigate it wasn’t until late, about eight, that Finn finally arrived. But we found a place to stay that nice and had a really warm shower, a godsend after the last few days of rain. We really excited to be done riding over Turkey and finally in a new country.