The Georgian Street Cow Gang

Sunset in Batumi

Sunset in Batumi

About some difficulties leaving beautiful Batumi, no difficulties at all finding a nice place to camp and feeling safe thanks to various street cow gangs.

Wednesday, 13th of June 2012

We wanted to leave the beautiful town of Batumi on a sunny Tuesday. But Roberto decided to treat me like a princess for a day instead and to just enjoy a holiday in the sun. We wanted to leave again on a rainy Wednesday. I just needed to finish  an article, translate it, upload pictures and some answers to the Main-Post interview and quickly translate the last article. It was late afternoon and we decided to stay yet another night. And it was a good decision.

Mini Sunset Boulevard in Batumi

Mini Sunset Boulevard in Batumi

We spent the Princess day’s night eating Spaghetti Bolognaise with our new friends from the hostel.
Nina and Lika, the two girls working there, were happy to be together with nice clients like the French cyclist Nicolas, the US-American globetrotter Jared and the two of us.

We do not stay a lot in hostels, but in Batumi we just missed being with people. Our first impression of the hostel and it’s staff was great and so we came back with all our things to stay for a few nights.

"Hi, I am Lika, this is Nina, I am just preparing coffee would you like to have one?" - what a warm welcome

“Hi, I am Lika, this is Nina, I am just preparing coffee would you like to have one?” – what a warm welcome

This is also where we met Steffi and Russ from Germany and the USA. They had the wonderful idea to get out for a beer in our last night.

On a chilly Thursday we were done and after saying goodbye to all of our new friends we really managed to leave the hostel. We were proud of ourselves. For us it is nothing new to stay in a place far longer than expected. We had not even passed the goodbye-in-Batumi sign when Roberto stopped. “There is something wrong with my gears.”, he complained.

Batumi City Center

Batumi City Center

The procedure started.

– Find secure place to lean my bike on (my kickstand that I bought in
Austria broke a while ago).
– Empty Roberto’s front basket
– Unbuckle the big backpack, the isolation-mat bag and the two panniers from the rack
– Try out gears
– Turn bicycle around
– Try out gears again
– Adjust some random screws
– Try out gears
– Tighten screws back to original position
– Sigh loudly
– Argue a little with each other
– Turn bicycle back the right way up
– Try out gears again
– Buckle the two panniers from the rack, the isolation-mat bag and the big backpack
– Fill Roberto’s front basket
– Cycle back to the bike shop where they had just changed our spokes and adjusted the gears a few days ago

As we found out: clean bike parts survive longer.

As we found out: clean bike parts survive longer.

We were lucky, the staff still rememberd us and a boy who spoke English found the error quickly and repaired it. In the afternoon we finally left Batumi. For real.

Cycling Batumi Georgia

The air was humid and hot, we passed the Batumi Botanical Garden again, cycled along the coast, up two hills (first one was alright, second one pretty steep) and down another one. On the fast downhill we met our first Georgian street cow gang. Those street cows usually appear in groups of two to twenty members.

German sausage in a small village

German sausage in a small village

They walk on the side of the street with their bottoms facing the driving lane. They walk across the street without the smallest proof of fear. They even poop and sleep on the street. Sometimes these gangs are in combination with some chicken, gooses, pigs, donkeys, horses and goats. They enjoy annoying the drivers and just ignore their horns blowing loudly next to them.

 

A Georgian Street Cow

“Where has my gang gone?”

We liked these kinds of street occupants. They are like natural speed bumps for the fast drivers and I am very happy to say that I have hardly seen any flat pancake-animals on the street as in most of the other countries we have been cycling through.

Animals do not move for traffic. Traffic does not kill animals. Ergo: Even crazy drivers can manage to dodge cows. So they won’t do human cyclists any harm either.

A street sign: Tbilisi. Erevan, Baku turn right

Yes – that’s where we want to go!

With this positive conclusion we felt far safer on the streets without shoulder. We cycled behind each other each watching cows, trees, hills, fields and villages for himself. When it was time to find a place to camp there was another wonderful surprise to us. Usually we spend some time (up to one hour) watching for a dry and flat spot that is invisible from the street and has the floor soft enough to put the tent pegs. Since it is summer the spot should also be faced west of a tree or building to avoid being baked inside from the morning sun.

The entire country seems to be one huge wild-camping-spot

The entire country seems to be one huge wild-camping-spot

In the region of Guria we had no problems finding such a spot at all. To both sides of the street we saw plenty of fields with bushes, rivers and ponds covered by soft grass. Once we managed to find a 2×1 meters spot without any cow poop we put up the tent to enjoy the last half hour of sunlight eating bread, cheese and “sausage from a German butcher” (which was really good). But everything tastes great after a day on two wheels outside in the fresh air.

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  2. Héctor says:

    Georgia must be the safest place on earth for cows!

    • Tasting Travels Team Tasting Travels Team says:

      I bet it is! Or maybe is it India? We will let you know once we arrived there!

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