Leaving the Caucasus

July 19, 2010

After several weeks perusing the Caucasus for all they’re worth, I’m heading back to Budapest tomorrow. I’ve got a plane that departs Tbilisi at around 10 in the morning.

It’s a little bittersweet, as Tbilisi is a great city, and I’ve met many good people here, but I’m also really excited to get back to Belgrade. From Budapest I will take the train to Belgrade, which will also be quite nice after who-knows-how-many days of minibuses careening through mountain roads.

I have a veritable boat-load of pictures awaiting upload which I will probably do upon arrival in Belgrade, it seems like a fitting segue between part one and two of my travels.


Back in Tbilisi

July 10, 2010

The week out in Lagodekhi was quite relaxing. I’m now in Tbilisi getting prepared for a trek into the High Caucasus around Kazbegi (several kilometers from the Russian border). The plan is to hike part-way up Mt. Kazbek (a little over 5000 meters), then just hike around until I get bored. After that, it’s back to Tbilisi, then on to Yerevan. I’ll probably be flying back to Belgrade from Yerevan in a week or two.

After several hours on a plane, a hectic taxi-to-marshrutka transfer, 6 hours of rocketing past dilapidated industrial hulks reminiscent of a more prosperous past, passing semi trucksĀ at breakneck speeds on hairpin mountain roads, and dodging various livestock wandering the highway, I’m in Tbilisi. I met up with my friend Tom, and we will be heading back to his town (Lagodekhi) this evening. I will be camping up there for a week or so and returning to Tbilisi after that.

Probably no Internet access where I will be, so this is it for a bit. Expect pictures when I return!

The Road

July 3, 2010

A bit of a misleading title as I’ll actually be flying… but after a long-ish hiatus in Istanbul I’ll be heading east tomorrow. After much searching for a land route, I balked and bought a plane ticket.

Apparently this season in Turkey is very popular for people to be heading east via bus or train due to the end of school and a mass influx of people to their hometowns in the east. Georgia is pretty far away, and getting there by land would be at least as expensive as the plane ticket I found, plus it takes an upwards of 30 hours. Instead, I depart from Ataturk airport tomorrow at 1300 for a two hour flight straight to Batumi on the Georgian coast.

I’ll be heading to Tbilisi ASAP since a friend of mine will be there picking up a friend from the airport Sunday night, I may be able to hitch a ride with them up to Lagodekhi near the Azerbaijani border.

Stay tuned for fascinating details from the Caucasus.