Oh the Beauty of the Mountains

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”

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After coming up and over the pass we ended up passing through a gorgeous valley surrounded by the Caucasus, a mountain range which runs from Russia into Georgia.

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A Day in the Life: Cycling Through Georgia

“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”

We woke up at five-thirty as the sun began to rise in order to eat breakfast, fresh homemade Georgian bread and homemade cheese, with the family we had been staying with for the past few nights. We then quickly packed and said our thank you’s and goodbyes in order to hit the road by six-thirty while it was still reasonably cool out. We cycled for a few hours, pausing here and there to take breaks in the shade, until about eleven-thirty when we found a river to cool off in for the afternoon. By that time we had completed sixty of our eighty kilometers for the day.

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Welcome to Georgia

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”

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This morning a couple (and their baby cow) in a horse-drawn carriage slowed as they passed the tree we were sitting under for a break in order to hand us an ice cold beer and a handful of candies. Already this morning a man had approached us as we were buying our daily Georgian bread in order to hand us an enormous hunk of watermelon. By noon, we would be given a bag of fresh tomatoes, two bottles of homemade wine, walnuts, frozen sprite and orange juice (which on a 45C day is absolutely wonderful) and more cantaloupe, watermelon, and little sweet fruits (which I found out later were figs) than we could handle. Oh, and a room in someone’s house to nap in which turned into a two night homestay at the neighbors with a fun-spirited grandpa and his wonderful teenage grandchildren. Welcome to Georgia, a country which in just three days has lived up to its name as “one of the most hospitable places on earth.”

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