After not making much distance over the last few days most of the riding today was along flat plains and we managed to get a good amount of kms done today. It had started raining in the early morning and continued most of the day, but the heaviest rain passes over before we had set off. It was kind of that misty rain that you don’t really notice all that much.
Arriving on Ozurgeti after leaving camp after a bit under an hour of riding and picked up some supplies in the local supermarket. We were followed around the whole time by a surly old woman with a mop cleaning up the rainwater we were dripping in the shop, though I’m sure we weren’t the only culprits.
Flat riding after Ozurgeti for most of the rest of the day, felt good to make some progress towards Tbilisi finally. The rain had been falling hard on and off (mostly on) over the last week and a half and a lot of the fields we passed had flooded and all the rivers were swollen with flowing fast.
Had a late lunch in a roadside rest stop just before we had to climb over some foothills. Meal wasn’t great but the experience was fun, a group of Georgian guys at the other table took an interest in us and gave us some of their wine they had brought from home. After finishing the jug they had with them one of the guys hurried out to his car to fetch more and ended up hauling in a huge 20l fuel container filled with homemade wine. With still some cycling to do we had to refuse and got back on the bikes.
Climbing and then looking for good camp spots as the weather worsened and the light faded. We found an abandoned old concrete structure that would provided shelter from the direct rain and gathering wind, though it did drip like cave.
The weather was getting worse and worse, it was a real storm building now. A local woman came by to take shelter from the heavy rain as the thunder and lightening came down. I guess taking pity on us she pointed out her house down the road and gestured we could sleep there tonight. This time we took up the offer and packed up and made our way down to the house.
The place was a basic farm house with one big room that had all the heat in it, generated by a wood burning stove. The beds, kitchen and TV were all here. When we arrived the woman pulled out some chairs for us to sit by the fire. As the evening went on a few more people arrived, another woman and her two young children, but we couldn’t really communicate with them all that well so we sort of sat in silence watching the TV.
We had gone to bed, a big room upstairs with two old beds piled with blankets when the husband came home. He came bursting into the room smiling and gesturing and slurring some Georgian at us that made it pretty obvious where he had been all evening. He was very friendly, of course, and invited us back downstairs to drink some more Georgian wine. We sat with him and his wife (the kids had been hurried off to bed he came back down with us) and spent the evening saying ‘good’ and ‘super’ Georgia and Ireland were. That was until Finn broke out the camera and a sort of impromptu photo shoot began.
Loah (the husband) was quite enthusiastic that we could send the photos to him on Facebook but we were pretty sure he didn’t have access to the Internet. We asked for their post address so we could post the photos to them but there was much confusion and once again a mobile was produced and the English speaking friend called. We finally wrestled a post address out of him and figured it was a successful evening entertaining our generous hosts so went back to bed while the storm raged outside.