More heavy showers during the night. My room was not entirely water-proof.
Left Zugdidi around 11am, had breakfast outside the city at a little shop.
The road was still flat until close to Jvari, where it descended into a wide valley which it followed to the northeast. On the other side of the valley the Greater Caucasus rises.
In Jvari it started to rain. I sought refuge under the roof of an abandoned petrol station for a few minutes, then cycled on. The road crossed the valley and then climbed into the mountains. First it followed a gorge, which was so steep and deep that at times I couldn’t see the river at the bottom. Then it crossed a pass and slowly descended towards an artificial reservoir lake, which it followed for the next couple dozen kilometers.
I came through tiny settlements and was a real attraction for everyone. A few days earlier, in Batumi, a Polish guy had told me that he’d met a Swiss guy on a bike who was going to Mestia, too. So I thought that maybe cyclists weren’t such an unusual sight here.
The rain finally stopped in the late afternoon. The countryside is magnificent. A steep forrested mountain side going up on one side of the road, and another one going down to the lake on the other side. The road was mostly good, except where it has been destroyed by fallen rocks or full-blown landslides (which appear to go down quite often, judging from the holes the road had).
Looked for a potential camp site but didn’t find much mostly because there was no room! Eventually I asked some folks (Giorgi and a friend) sitting in front of their house in a tiny village (about two or three inhabited houses) whether I could pitch tent on their lawn. Went to bed early.
Approx. 65km left to Mestia.