The idea to visit the Caucasus mountains in the Republic of Georgia grew in our heads during the winter season, and the plan was set for the beginning of June 2018.
We departed from Sofia, Bulgaria and headed towards Turkey, the only country separating us from Georgia.
Three days of travel are enough to cover this distance, but not nearly enough to actually explore Turkey.
It’s a huge country with a lot of history, a lot of places to visit and a lot of roads to ride.
Unfortunately, this was not part of our current plan, so Turkey was just a transit on our way to Georgia.
On the 3rd day, we entered Georgia and stopped in Batumi, where we planned to stay for 2 days in order to rest and change our tires with more off-road friendly ones.
Batumi is a strange combination of a sea resort with a lot of shiny places for tourists on one side and poverty-filled outskirts on the other.
I kind of liked both sides of it, but I can't really explain why.
Next, we headed towards Mestia, our first encounter with the Caucasus mountains.
A long and twisty road lead us there, high in the mountains.
It is a beautiful place surrounded by mountain views, not too isolated from civilization and easy to reach.
It offers a lot of experiences for every taste, from local music and food to high mountain activities, and is a common destination for moto tourists.
Our plan included visiting Ushguli, the highest inhabitable village in continental Europe. Located in the region of Svaneti, it is famous for its medieval fortified towers.
Due to the recent rain, the road from Mestia to Ushguli had turned into a muddy mess, but it was still relatively easy to ride and a lot of fun.
When we reached it, we were soaking wet, but happy.
Above Ushguli lies the Shkara glacier, but because of the bad weather it was impossible for us to go and see it.
Our next destination for the following days was Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. It is one of the nicest cities I've ever been to. Seeing everything this city offers requires at least two full days.
There is a lot of history and a lot of tourist attractions to see during the day, and in the evening you can go and eat delicious Georgian food and have a drink at one of the many bars around town.
After that was a trip to the border with Russia, taking the Caucasus "highway". It's a twisty mountain road full of scenery, which passes through the Jvari pass, 2395 meters above sea level.
We arrived at our destination for the day; the city of Stepantsminda, , just a few kilometers from the Russian border.
We slept there and the next morning we took the steep off-road to Gergeti Trinity Church, located above the city.
This off-road section is easy to ride if you have the proper tires, but may be really hard otherwise. When you reach the church at the top, you can actually have a glimpse of mount Kazbek.
We had to spend another night in Tbilisi before heading for Omalo, a small village located deep in the Tusheti national park in the heart of the Caucasus mountains.
The road to Omalo is an 80km stretch of dirt road, taking you to Abano pass, 2826 meters above sea level and then descending into a beautiful valley along a mighty river.
It is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world. Reaching Omalo, I was so happy that I had the opportunity to ride such an amazing road and see such scenery.
Above Omalo lies the Keselo fortress that, much like the one in Ushguli, was used to protect the inhabitants from bandit raids on the village.
I didn't really want to leave Omalo, but I had to, because a storm was coming.
However, I made a promise to myself that I'll be back there one day soon.
Starting the descent from the mountains, this was also the beginning of my trip back to Bulgaria.
To summarize this 2-week trip, I'd say that Georgia is an amazing country with rich history, beautiful nature, good-hearted people, delicious food and has a lot to offer to any traveller! Go and visit!