June 21, 2013 by loscobos12
Time is short, as tomorrow morning we fly from Georgia over the Caspian sea to Kazakhstan, having had difficulties with our Azeri visa.
The last three days have been hectic, as we have scoured Tibilisi for bike boxes, spare parts and equipment.
After our last blog entry in Cappadocia ‘Turkey tummy’ struck again, and we were forced to take a bus to remain on schedule.
The mountainous North West of the country was lacking the riots and chaos of Istanbul, but we still managed to find ourselves not only surrounded by snipers, but awoken in the dead of night by a rifle-wielding nomad on horseback.
After getting within tear-gassing distance of the Georgian border, we were snookered by the revelation that the crossing point was closed, and were forced to take a 100km+ diversion over some enormous climbs.
Close to the border we summited at 2550m, the highest any of us had ever ridden. The air was noticeably thinner, which may account in part for our poor decision making once over the border. Reaching the first town, we were soon several beers down, and cycling didn’t really seem on the cards for the remainder of the day. By half past eight, we were to be found in a basement bar, shooting vodka with the all too enthusiastic owner. The next morning saw Rob and Josh largely unable to eat, and the majority of the day spend languishing in our room.
Continuing through Georgia, we began our intensive training to compete for team GB in the 500m cyclo-canine sprint. Attacked by dogs in every village, we took to riding through brandishing sticks like 21st century jousting knights.
After one such encounter we sought to find solace with The Almighty, as we followed signposts for a historic site. Lycra-clad we entered, only to be swiftly evicted from the nunnery by the enraged mother superior. It wasn’t too traumatic, but we certainly won’t be making a habit of it…
On Sunday we will be cycling into the deserts of Kazakhstan, heading towards the Uzbek border.