08 May – Georgia – Turkey, 153 miles
Exiting Turkey – relatively quick, easy.
Entering Georgia – NOT quick, at all, nor particularly easy.
Turkey – stand in a single-file line for the one passport control officer, licence plate numbers checked by somebody else to another office, while locals skip the line… then a quick “customs” check-in of the bike docs.. 30 minutes total, maybe, for the entire goup… then on to the Georgia border.
Georgia – I think we stood around for about an hour – with nobody else in the area at all – before anything even looked like happening. For an hour, there were 6 customs/border-control people milling around at the far-end, doing absolutely nothing. Eventually, things started moving… at an average of 1 bike/rider per 15 minutes for passport control, then the customs guys insisting on looking at every piece of medication/drug you might have. They eventually picked up the pace once they realised how long this was likely to take (after ~15 bikes).. and started rushing things. I helped things along by understating the drugs I had packed away.. only admitting to the ones I had handily available in the backpack.
One chap – not so smart – showed them his painkillers with Codeine in it… he didn’t emerge from the customs shed for several hours. In total – I think the last guy entered Georgia after 5 hours.
Anyway – eventually we all got through, into some lovely roads alongside a river, through a valley, dodging potholes, getting a little airborne when the blind summit turned out to have a considerable drop on the other side, and got to our hotel in the very picturesque setting of Vardzia.