Torrential rain fall continued until noon. Electricity was an on/off thing.
Headed for a restaurant near the police station where I was ‘caught’ yesterday. Had a delicious breakfast/lunch made of salad, eggs, sausages, bread and cheese khinkali (Georgian dumplings).
Left the hotel at 3pm(!) and cycled towards Zugdidi, northeast of Poti. The countryside here is really flat, almost like in northern Serbia. And after yesterday’s rain everything is flooded or at least swampy. A couple of pigs drowned during the night. I’m happy I followed the police’s ‘advice’ and didn’t camp here… Well, it would have been difficult to find a quiet spot anyway. There’s houses, fields or meadows everywhere along the road, and cows, pigs and horses walk about everywhere, including on the road. I don’t think there was much uninhabited/unused land next to the road today. Some of the villages stretched along the road for many a kilometer.
Arrived in Zugdidi at 6pm. The city is very close to the border to Abkhazia (approx. 6km from the city center), one of Georgia’s two Russian-backed break-away regions. The other is South Ossetia further to the east. Police and military presence is considerably higher here in Zugdidi than in e.g. Batumi, but not excessive.
Stopped at the curb of what seems to be the central boulevard to evaluate my options for the night. The weather was ok during the afternoon, but low-hanging dark clouds were always close by. Two youngsters on bicycles started talking to me. They were interested in my bike. Eventually they escorted me to a hotel that was just a tad more expensive than yesterday’s but looked like it might actually be water-proof.
From what I’ve seen on the TV news, the rainfalls have had quite a devastating impact in the mountains, with landslides destroying roads and villages. I have no idea where that was exactly, though, and whether or not it will effect my travels.