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  • Day215

    Mountainbiking in Truso valley

    October 11, 2019 in Georgia ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    I don't think there is any landscape that's as intriguing to Tom and me as mountains in combination with water. When several people recommended to drive into a gorge close to Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi) it was a done deal. Instead of heading to the semidesert down southeast, we take the Georgian Military Highway (an ancient passage through the Caucasus, first properly engineered as a road by the Russians in the 19th century) and make our way up through spectacular mountain scenery. The road is dotted with old churches and fortress ruins and watchtowers are a prominent sign of its conflict heavy history. The road through the gorge leading to the Truso valley ends with a military checkpoint as well. Civilians can't go further up as the Russian border is close.
    However, you can still enjoy wonderful views from the parts you can reach without getting in trouble. The Kudliks and we reach the furthest drivable spot next to the mineral heavy river quite late, having enjoyed the beautiful light of an early disappearing sun along the way. Autumn is beautiful here!
    After a cold night, Tom and I get up early and get ready to take our mountain bikes for a spin. We can still get about 4kms further down into the valley, just not with the car. It's not a technical Mountainbike ride but exploratory enough to be lots of fun. We drive through sparcely populated villages, visit an active monastery and finally climb some old ruins next to the checkpoint.
    On the way back we take a different route. We had spotted a mineral lake and follow animal trails on the other side of the river. This certainly feels a bit more like real mountain biking and the lake itself is a highlight as well. Due to its high level of carbon dioxide it actually bubbles. Unfortunately you're not allowed to swim in it but it tastes exactly like mineral water.
    The last bit of the track is the most fun. It leads along a steep ridge (causing me to push my bike a few times), down to the bridge close to our car. What a fun adventure.
    The Kudliks are yet to explore the area so Tom and I relax and take our time to pack up, every now and then having a chat to curious tourists. The valley became quite busy with hikers just before lunch and we can only imagine how many people must enjoy this area in summer. You probably guessed, we're happy to be here during the shoulder season and intend to make the most of the surrounding areas before it gets too cold.
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