Day 7: Trabzon, Turkey – Batumi, Georgia

After a pretty crap night in Trabzon we were all a little slow at getting ready and leaving this morning, you could tell that the bad news and lack of beers had knocked some of the enthusiasm out of us all and so eventually we all got our shit together loaded the car up and got the hell out of Trabzon, todays plan was to enter Georgia and drive to Tbilisi.

It was a relatively short drive to the Georgian border and as we came out of the tunnel we could see Georgian immigration right in front of us, great! The police quickly pissed all over our parade as they used their PA system to shout at us in Turkish to join the back of the queue. We turned the corner and saw that the queue doubled back and went on for miles, we knew then we were in for a long one! Things could have been worse though, we were parked right next to the Black Sea, the sun was shining and there was the prospect of beers on the other side of the border!! Slowly but steadily we moved up the queue with the Turks shouting “Yanesh, Yanesh” which we understood to mean “Closer, Closer” – we got pretty close to the car in front but the friendly Turk in the car behind wasn’t happy until his car was physically touching ours, only then was he happy he was close enough, he didn’t damage either car though and we just kept laughing at him and he seemed to think it was pretty funny too. Whilst in the queue, Don befriended a local Turk who for $100 said he could get us straight to the front of the queue as his uncle was in charge of the border, we politely declined the offer and chose to wait it out like the rest of the people. We also met Jalal, a nice guy from Baku in Azerbaijan who was on his way back there to meet his family, he spoke really good english so we asked him about Baku and asked if he knew anything about getting visas at the border to which he said, sadly not. Bugger, thats Plan B out the window! I got bored of the queuing and went for a swim, Al got bored of the driving and so we left Rob in charge of the car and just took the handbrake off and pushed it every time we heard the shout of “Yanesh, Yanesh”.

Eventually we made it to the front of the queue and were told that only one person could take the car over the border, the other two would have to cross on foot. Never happy to leave one man alone in a situation that could involve extortion, rape and the potential refusal of entry Don and I made the decision to leave Alan to it and got out, he was the sacrificial lamb in this instance. Luckily there were no issues and Alan, Don and I all entered Georgia without anyone entering us!

We had spent so much time at the border queuing that by now it had gotten pretty late so we took the decision to get a room in Batumi, so that we could have these beers we missed out on the previous day and boy did we have some beers!! Beers, beers, Don’s donkey rides, more beers, even more beers, befriending a Greek ambassador and his Serbian girlfriend, vodkas, further beers, dancing in fountains and then finally a bit of vomit from Alan before we all hit the hay having well and truly made up for the lack of beer the day before. We loved Batumi!

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