The skies either side of me are blue but the cloud is trapped between the hills and hangs over me. When the sun does shine, it can’t shine bright enough to take the gloom out of the next town. Tall oppressive soviet housing blocks each side of the road create a valley of their own and I ride in the shadow of their depressing design.
The road turns to dirt.
I know it will come to an end eventually, as Russia looms over Georgia’s northern boundaries and there are few through roads. I follow and then cross a river, the kind of river that may, with a storm in the mountains, quadruple in size. The high water-mark indicates what it’s capable of and that’s far greater than my river crossing abilities. But then there’s the luxury of a low wooden bridge where the river has nearly dammed itself with the pine trees it has swept downstream and which have jammed under the supports.
The track is getting narrower and finally takes me into a village, the village at the end of the road. It’s a bit scary, quite exhilarating, old women dressed in black sit on wooden benches worn shiny from the bums of time. The houses are made of stone and tradition; the paths between them are only barrow wide. Electric cables have been strung from anything of height and my exhaust is much too loud for such a remote and unvisited place…
I wander round the narrow dirt alleys; I’ve just walked into the middle Ages.