Another cold start with less than -10 degrees celcius in the morning. I think I will get used to it though. Met a cool dog. She ran along beside me for about 4km before giving up…
The plan was to find a place to stay in Akhaltsikhe Town for a couple of days before heading to Batuumi – the last main town in Georgia on the Black Sea coast, near the Turkey border. This changed somewhat in Akhatsikhe when I asked Nugzar, a local university student, where an internet cafe was…
Nugzar and his friend took it upon themselves to show me to the internet cafes. Being close to the new year, cafe after cafe was closed. As we walked to the third internet cafe, Nugzar explained that he had to catch a bus to his home town, Ude Town, at 5pm.
“Roberts, you come to Ude?” he asked out of the blue.
I was feeling fairly tired from the five days of cycling in snow and on busy highways, and would have been just as keen just to crash in a hotel room for a few days. But I spoke before thinking.
“Yeah, why not?” I replied.
Nugzar assured me that it would be no problem to put my bike, luggage and all, onto the bus for the half hour bus ride to Ude Town.
Indeed it was no problem, and at 6pm we arrived in Ude, a sleepy little town on the side of a mountain.
Originally, Nugzar and I had discussed that I would catch a bus back to Akhaltsikhe the next day (30th Dec), however his family were adamant that I would stay until at least the 2nd or 3rd of January. I mentally prepared myself for some major cultural experiencing.
Basically, the three days I spent at the Khuljanishvili family’s home was spent eating copious amounts of food, politely refusing to skull thier wine (there is no such thing as sipping wine in Georgia, it seems), and wandering around the town.
Being in Ude gave me the opportunity to go to an Orthodox Christian church service. Lots of chanting and melodic harmony…
Now I had heard of the Georgian’s amazing hospitality, and thanks to Uajar Khuljanishvili and his family, I managed to experience it first hand. Thank you so very much!