I drank a little more of the V, and then I packed my stuff and left the hotel to walk the rest of the way towards the border with Georgia. The streets in Balakan seemed a tiny bit more flashy than the others before it:
The late President’s words were carved in stone on a street corner:
A white monument of a mother with her child looked over the road:
And then there was an advertisement for a carwash that seemed a bit more humble:
The weather was good, there was forest on both sides of the road, and the way wasn’t going to be long. Walking felt easy.
When I reached a restaurant in the middle of nowhere I stopped and ordered dinner:
I got potato soup, salad, and bread:
There was some more road, and then a sign that showed the flag of Azerbaijan next to an oil well:
And I realized that it seemed like ages ago that I had passed the oil chickens of Baku.
Then I noticed the border in the distance:
There were some taxi drivers at the border, some tourists waiting to cross, some border guards, a stray dog, and a little shop. The shop belonged to Sasha:
He gave me some ice-cream and some water, and we talked about Mayakovsky (who had also written about his travels). It was delightful.
Then I entered the border. It was a lot easier than the border of Iran and Azerbaijan two months earlier. Nevertheless I had to open the Caboose and answer a lot of questions. But then I was halfway through, on a bridge between Azerbaijan and Georgia, and I was told that it was okay to take photographs, so I did that:
There was a sign with the word GEORGIA, and I took my daily selfie under it:
Then I braced myself for the second half of the border – the Georgian inspection:
It turned out to be even more relaxed than the Azerbaijani side. A few questions, one quick look into the Caboose, and I was through.
Here’s what I saw immediately upon entering Georgia:
I sat down with two Chinese travelers whom I had met during the border checks, and we drank tea and talked for a while. When we got up and said goodbye, it was already getting dark.
So I spent my first few kilometers in Georgia walking through the darkness:
I was a bit creeped out, because I didn’t know what to expect:
But after an hour or so I arrived in a small village where I had booked a guesthouse.
And so I had arrived in Georgia, home of the Coke Museum.
No 360 video: