Me and Dachi For A Week
Well, so much for getting up and going to the sulpher baths this morning! I slept in!
The tour guide who picked me up at the airport is my private tour guide for the duration of my stay. He is a cute 25 year old Georgian from Tbilisi. I didn’t realize my tours would be just me and this young guy. I imagined myself each day, on a tour bus filled with people.
Nope, it is me and Dachi, driving around in his car, a Volkswagen Passat to explore the country.
Not a bad way to spend a week exploring a country.
January 2nd – How You Spend This Day Matters
Dachi picked me up at my hotel at 10:00am this morning and our first scheduled stop was a 2 hour drive to the Gudauri Ski Resort.
He told me that today is an important day, January 2nd, because how you spend the day will reflect how your 2019 year will be.
How could our day not be good, we were going skiing!
Mind you, it was my first time skiing in over 20 years, even then I had only ever skied a few times.
He also explained that Georgia was once part of the Soviet Union and in 1991 became its own independent country. How, since the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, in certain states in Georgia, Russia is still pushing into Georgian boundaries.
Dachi also corrected me:
The area I discovered yesterday – where the sulpher baths are – is not the main hub of Tbilisi. That area is one location popular with tourists.
The Papakha sheepskin hat I bought is NOT the traditional Georgian hat….it is the traditional hat of the mountain people of this region.
Driving The Silk Road
We drove on a main road, known by locals as the “Silk Road”, because it is the main route used by transport trucks to deliver goods into Russia via Georgia from Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
The road was busy this day with Russians driving to the ski resort. The license plate on the BMW ahead of us indicates the vehicle is from Russia.
The license plate on the truck ahead of us indicates it is from Kazakhstan.
Not all trucks traveling to Russia are allowed to keep driving because they clog up traffic along the icy, dangerous road conditions over the mountains, so they have to wait and be given permission to carry on.
I can’t remember what this is. I’m thinking a church and maybe Dachi said it was one of our tour destination?
Jinvali Water Reserve & Greater Caucasus Mountains
We stopped at the Jinvali Water Reserve look out spot with the Greater Caucasus Mountains in the background.
Stray Dogs and Puppies
There were stray dogs and puppies walking about the Jinvali Water Reserve parking area. They would hang out with the locals who had souvenir items for sale along the perimeter of the parking lot.
Next stop…..Gudauri Ski Resort!