Batumi to Hopi Turkey 50km
Twice now I've cycled out of major Georgian cities in torrential downpours. Within five minutes of leaving the hostel, I was soaked to the skin. But my spirits could not be dampened. Last night the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup..... woohoo. I don't know why, but being out of New Zealand, makes me feel very very patriotic. I suppose it's something to do with needing a base, somewhere to call home, after so long on the road. Or maybe it's just that I'm so proud to be a kiwi, and to be represented by such an amazing group of athletes....... back to back RWC winners...... yeeeehaaaaa.
I managed to drag a few from the hostel to watch the game, a Frenchman, a Canadian, an Irishman, a guy from the USA, and two Dutch. Also in the pub, an Irish bar, the Quiet Woman, were a group of Georgians, supporting the Aussies. They were very vocal, and knowledgable, but they were disappointed, but still they all came and shook my hand at the end of the game..... and congratulated me....... All I did was yell and cheer, and yahoo..... and they congratulated me???
The border into Turkey was very easy to cross, and very quick, especially on a cycle, when you can sneak up past all the queued trucks and cars. Once again, stamp and stamp, and I don't believe it, but I've actually cycled from NZ to Turkey, country number nineteen. Almost seems too easy. But it's still raining, and my navigation app just does not want to work when there is rain on the screen, and I'm getting cold..... so a hotel seemed a good idea.
I guess you don't realise what you're missing until you see it again. Cross the border, and the rubbish reappears. Georgia seemed to have that problem sorted, where it seems Turkey hasn't got it worked out yet. But there is something else different. There are very very few women on the streets in Turkey. Lots of men, drinking coffees, playing Backgammon, hanging out, but only a handful of females. I've crossed from my last ex Soviet country, back into Muslim territory. Every day, something new. Learning. Adventure.