The adventure

This picture is quite unrelated to this post. 🙂

I was still thinking about the breathtaking landscapes, dangerous and demanding roads and an old wreck of a car. A true adventure. 

Warning: There is some personal content in this post. I you, dear reader, don’t like this type of post, you can indulge yourself in a part one of the how to play the bagpipes tutorial. 

We (yep, Mateja was also there) were in Georgia (the one near Russia) towards the end of May 2018 and were just starting with our road trip. Well, it wasn’t just road trip… 

Biased. Or not?

Even I get a feeling sometimes I might be a bit biased towards cars and car travel. But that’s just not true. I often let myself be driven around in all off the comfort provided by any type of public transport. I really enjoy the comfort (especially when the bus slides of the road) and the uncertainty of it. 

A nice ride in Cambodia.

It’s often cheaper than any other type of transportation and this was also the case for out Kutaisi to Tbilisi transfer. We’ve therefore let the Georgian Railway control our fait for the whole 5 hour long trip. The pictures on their website were promising, the reality was a bit underwhelming, unfortunately. The train was quite old, slow and a bit uncomfortable. The whole experience was sweaty. I (can’t say for the others) have really enjoyed it. I like it how I do my part just by simply turning up on the train on time. I then let the railway company take responsibility for bringing me safely to the target city.  

The target city was Tbilisi with some wheels waiting for us. We’ve rented a Honda CR-V, which a fairly big car for 4 travelers with luggage. It also provided us with a 4×4, slightly asthmatic AC and an automatic transmission. I’ve quickly realized the roads were quite bad and that the driver were slightly better than the Albanian ones. 

A hole in the bridge we were driving on.

Once again the GPS or the maps to be precise gave us false hope. There were supposed to be a lot of motorways. I’m sure on day there will be, but the days hadn’t arrived by the time of our visit. Many, many kilometres of B roads awaited us. I felt kind of saddened, and I like these kind of roads. On one hand you get more scenic roads, a lot of stopping opportunities and a lot of junctions that tempt you to explore side roads.  On the other it takes forever to make any significant progress. I guess the average speed is just over 50km/h, there are long queues, a lot of truck and endless “cities”. Which are the worst for me.  

Co-driving

There was only one thing I dreaded more as the endless B roads. That’s me being a co-driver. I hate being one. This was the first time I’d try it. I can’t really sleep and am just scrutinizing the drivers. Looking for errors and looking for the good bits of their driving. It’s like hell for me. And I can always tell the driver can feel my discomfort and occasional accusing look. I’m aware this isn’t the best thing. That’s why I’d rather drive the whole thing myself. 

This is why I’d also try to take the opportunity to better myself during Mongol Rally. Those of you who had just rolled your eyes audibly can skip to the next paragraph 😛 . I’m trying to better myself every single day. It doesn’t really matter how big the change is as long as there is a change for the better. And me being a bad codriver is one such thing I’d like to improve. I guess there are few as good as opportunities as being (almost) locked in the same car with another person who will also have to drive. I do honestly believe the such adventure would present many challenges. Opportunities for my personal growth would come with them. 

Back to the road trip. Both drivers (Mateja was not one of them) did a fantastic job. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared occasionally. One might say terrified. We’ve survived and even our beloved Honda CR-V was still running. There were a lot of weird noises coming from the suspension, but it did it’s job flawlessly. Admittedly, not all of the things were working as they should. The gearbox had some weird quirks, the suspension noise was worrying, some of the door locks were broken and the AC was really struggling with the heat. But it did not let us down. 

“Our” Honda CR-V.

The reliability and capability of our vehicle were the main problem if I compare (even though the comparison is the killer of joy) this road trip with the Albanian one. I never had the feeling we were pushing the car to it’s limits. I never felt like the roads are challenging the Honda. It was almost easy.  

This road trip was extremely pleasant, Georgia is quite simply beautiful and it was trouble free. I couldn’t have had a better trio of companions. The views are spectacular, the food is great if one chooses wisely.  

The were some mishaps of course. Some of the food was almost poisonous. We were caught in the downpour on a church at the top of the hill, but the decent with a local driver was just great. And some nice old lady tried to con us with some accommodation. But the car was great. It did it’s job well. 

I, however, think the problem are what makes a difference between a road trip and an adventure. A difference between a nice journey and an epic voyage.  

I love a good challenge and that’s why the Mongol Rally kept popping up in my mind. 

A well maintained bridge.
An evening rush hour.
Nice view no. 1.
Nice view no. 2.
Nice view no. 3.

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