Over the last few days a lot has happened, good stuff, bad stuff and even worse stuff.
Batumi – The region’s bathtub
Prologue: Never ever “forget” to pay a speeding ticket in Georgia. 2 years ago I got a ticket for speeding, crossing a solid line and something else. I was supposed to pay 80 Lari (GEL), around 24 Euros, but couldn’t even read the ticket and wasn’t thinking about coming back.
That, my dearest friends and followers, was a huge mistake. Because I did come back with my team Teilzeitabenteurer on the Mongol Rally 2019.
My teammates got out of the car and crossed the border by foot, very common in this region. Me, as owner of the car, wanted to cross the border inside the car. After leaving Turkey with some questions about unpaid toll fees, I arrived at the Georgian border. After passing the officers my driver’s license, his face turned from a smile into a cold poker face.
Another officer came to confirm something on the screen. A third officer stood right in front of the car so I could not drive without overrunning him. Everyone was screaming, searching for someone who could speak English. After a few minutes blocking the border, I had to park the car behind the guard house, the front facing towards Turkey. The officer, who had been blocking the car, was now blocking me and came very close to me.
Finally, a plain-clothed officer arrived and explained to me in German that I still had to pay my speeding tickets if I want to enter Georgia. When he turned around, I could see the gun in his waistband…
I followed him and found out that my tiny speeding ticket had turned from 80 GEL to 600 GEl. Factor 7,5 for 2 years sums up to 182 Euros.
Five minutes later I payed and was allowed to enter Georgia…again.
Fun Fact: I entered Georgia by officially driving backwards across the border.
One night in Batumi
After the tiny problem at the border, we reached Batumi and checked into a small guesthouse. We went out for dinner and drinks and met up with our friends from Car Blanch.