After one week staying at the monks place, we went for relaxing to Kazkhi to the climbing house, where we met again Anna and Maryam. Later Guga came with a guest and a couple from Switzerland joined as well. During the day we all went climbing together and in the evening cooked nice dinners, as now the time started to get fresh vegetables on the market. Johannes bolted a new line in Chiatura, which we named after our friend Nika (from the monks) "Bomba".
On the day, the Swiss couple went back to Tbilisi, other 4 travellers joined us in the house and we spent a nice evening all together. The next day we packed our Black Flash with different hiking and camping gear, as our next plan was Racha. But before, we spent another night at the monks house, as we wanted to see how they make vodka. Unfortunately the gas was turned off because of some works, so we left for Racha. The first stop we made on the Shaori Reservoir, where we drove like real Georgians with our car next to the beach. We took a bath in the lake, but after a few hours the predicted thunderstorm arrived. We drove further to Oni and just shortly before it, we parked next to a spring. Because of the rain, we only had some bread and vegetables for dinner. Like the following three days, we slept that night with our sleeping bags in the car. Narrow but cozy. In the morning we drove to Oni, the main city of the region and we bought some food on the market. After that we tested 2 of the 3 open restaurants and in the second one we had a good lunch.
Then we drove under heavy rainfall to Ghebi, following huge, torrential rivers, but we had to pass as well through some smaller rivers and finally arrived in the village.
A bit out of Ghebi we found a parking place, far enough of the wild and huge river Rioni. As soon as the rain stopped, we went for a walk to the village and saw, that the main road going into the valley was washed away. An other river in the south part of the village looked like they had to expect now and then mud and rock slides. Back to the car we did not cook, as it started again raining. The next day we wanted to explore the valley, as we had planned to walk on the top of one mountain on the other side of the valley. After 1.5 h of walking the road was completely broken away on a length of 20 m and everything was still moving. After 10 minutes some responsibles for the road came to see the damage. They were confident to get everything fixed in 10 days, but at the bottom was the wild and strong river of Rioni.
We had to change our plans and we wanted to follow a path on our map. As soon as we entered the forrest, we could not see the path and the rain started again, so we decided to go back to our car for playing backgammon.
Luckily, in the evening the rain stopped, so finally we got the chance for cooking and made some nice Älplermakaronis with the left over cheese from Turkey.
After the meal, our neighbour invited us for some fresh milk to his house. He could not really understand that we were sleeping in our car. In general, the people we met were all very friendly, many of them wanted to help and invite us, or just were happy about some small talk. It seemed that not too many tourists come here, as we could not even see one guesthouse. But as well this place will change, some big buildings are under construction and in the next year an asphalted two lane road will be built.
Although our neighbour told us not to hike up on the mountain behind his house, we still wanted to try it the next day. In the beginning it seemed we were following a path, but we were quite a bit surprised, seeing after 200 m of altitude a small and well kept marijuana field.
After that, there was no path left, so we had to walk the next 600 m of altitude on a ridge in the forest, sometimes through thick bushes.
We were happy when we passed the tree line and could enjoy the beautiful view.
On the way we did not meet any animals, but for several hundred meters, we were following a path of huge footprints, maybe they came from a bear. For descending we chose the backside of the mountain, where we even found a very old road and looking very carefully, we were able to follow it most of the time. At the bottom of the valley, we came to a place called Gona, where there is a military checkpoint and a few houses. It was an amazing place and we had the best view over the caucasian mountains.
Walking back on the gravel road for 10 km, we arrived after 8 hours of walking at our car, where we were happy to get rid of our shoes.
The next morning we said good bye to our neighbours and drove to the old health resort of Shovi, where only a few houses and huge hotels in bad conditions were left.
Along the Southossetian boarder, we hiked on the road towards the Russian boarder and because of the heavy rainfalls of the last days, we once even had to take our shoes off and for walking through a cold river. We got admired by a Russian couple, which was afraid to drive with their new car through the river. Back at the car, we decided not to stay here and drive back to the Shaori Reservoir, where we spent a night in the tent, surrounded by fishermen, which spent the whole night on the shore mainly sleeping in their chairs.
After that we spent another 2 days in Chiatura with tidying up and relaxing. The weather was still not the best, so we decided to go back to Tbilisi, back to the Tbilisi Sea. On the weekend was a climbing and highlining festival in the botanical garden, where we met many friends.
On Sunday, Guga organised a climbing competition on the Monument, where he recently bolted some artificial routes.
As the weather was getting hotter, we decided to go to the mountains, to Chaukhi. The first night we parked below Juta, as we were not sure about the condition of the road and if we could park in the village. We checked all by foot and luckily a taxi driver gave us a ride. Everything just looked perfect, so we drove up the next day with our truck. For one week Emma stayed there and got admired by many tourists and locals. Back from the basecamp, we drove behind the car of Tamo and Maryam back to the flat and luckily no car passed us. For two days we relaxed in Emma, as the weather was still not the best. After that we drove to Kazbegi, to buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, but because of the many tourists around, we didn't stay too long and drove to the nearby climbing area of Arsha.
The place was cosy so we spent more than a week there, climbing, biking, washing clothes and painting all the interior of the kitchen. After having been there for 8 nights, we moved on.
We planned to meet Neslye and Oli in Svaneti, so we brought our truck to Tbilisi, packed all our camping gear and went off with the Black Flash. Exactly after 2 weeks we came back, and stayed for some days at the Tbilisi Sea. This time it was really hot, so we didn't want to stay too long and started our trip to Armenia.