Click map to see detailed route


4 September   Georgian Military Highway
To the Russian Border

Night was spent in a local house where they fed us with bread, goat cheese, deep fried bony fish and meatballs in rich tomato sauce.  We got up early and sped towards the Russian border.  Just north of Kazbegi, we entered the Darial Gorge.  This stretch of the GMH is a treacherous 15km winding road along the steep slopes of the High Caucasus and occasionally we passed lonely graves of earlier travellers.  The Terek River (or Tergi) flowed swiftly in the ravine below, northwards across the border, where it enters North Ossetian, Ingush and then Chechen territory and its once beautiful but now devastated capital Grozny, where Russian soldiers are still fighting their eternal battle against the freedom-loving Chechens.  Tsarist Russia took a few decades to crush Shamilís Chechens.  How long will Putinís Russia take ?

In the afternoon, we returned to Tbilisi but my heart was lost somewhere in those snowcapped mountains on the Russian border.
 

Mt Kazbek and the 14th Century Church of Holy Trinity
A cable car used to bring visitors up to the church, but locals resent it so much that they destroyed the cable car terminal.
And so holy Mt Kazbek can be free again...
 
The Georgian Military Highway
 
A look over the abyss
Amazing land!
Road users
Clouds gather
Sioni Church from a distance
Clouds...
 Caucasian hats and dirty windscreen
A modern day invader and a Georgian watch tower behind
How many invasions have this tower witnessed ?
Bus stop
More bus stop murals
A monument proclaiming Russo-Georgian friendship along the highway
 
The Russo-Georgian friendship monument near Gudauri, a skiing resort and Ossetian village
 
 Daryl Gorge - go northwards and you'll reach Vladikavkaz in Russia
The Daryl Gorge or Alan Gates
The Tergi River - it flows through Grozny, Chechenya
 
 
 
The final Georgian frontier post - beyond that is the Russian border. This was as far as we could go without a Russian visa.  The real Gates of Alans.
 

5 September  David Gareji
One feet in Georgia and one feet in Azerbaijan: Monastery search in the desert

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