Batumi and Beyond
Our journey so far has taken us to the frontiers of Georgia on three sides. But its last and western border, the Black Sea, is probably the most important. Here both the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, the white toothed jaws that hold this country in their grip, descend abruptly down below the ripples of the waters. The blue expanse greets them gratefully and delivers back a precious thin sub-tropical strip between the two inhospitable zones. The air here is mountain cleansed, the soil enriched by the mineral-rich rivers, and of course human enterprise is at its busiest. From the time of Jason and his Argonauts, this coast has served as the primary dockside for the region's social economic link with Europe.
We set the nose of the jeep toward the semi-autonomous region of Ajara, on the Turkish border.
"Batumi has taken over as our main resort," remarks Soso about the Ajarian capital. "It's my favourite city after Tbilisi."