Friday, April 12, 2013

Mestia Road Trip

There is a small town tucked in the mountains in northwest Georgia called Mestia in the Svaneti region. We heard stories about a ski resort with only 1 lift and lots of trees. After riding Gudauri for a couple months which is 100% above tree line, some forest riding was needed. The way the crow flies its less then 200 km from gudauri but on roads it is about 550 km. My girl and I left Gudauri on the "bus", a over crowded Mercedes Sprinter van at 5:30 in the afternoon. We met up with our friends in Tbilisi and loaded the Mitsubishi Delica. The Delica is a right hand drive 4x4 van that fit the 7 of us and our equipment well. Our last stop out of town was a supermarket where we loaded up on about $300 worth of alcohol... should last 7 people 4 days.

Where to fit all this alcohol?

Ohh.. that works

We got into the town of Mestia just as it was getting light. From the time we left Gudauri it had been 12 hours. Places the road was down to 1 lane because of slides and such. Mestia is best known for its "towers". Each family built these towers long ago and they still stand today.

Mestia at night.

The resort itself isn't very big. 1 lift about 2 km long. Maybe 8 or 900 vertical meter? There are 3 buildings. A restaurant at the bottom, one at the top, and a shack to sell tickets out of. The parking lot can fit 25 cars max. My kind of place. We rode for the next 4 days shredding every pillow line we could find.

The crew +2

Nugzar and Andro

Contemplating beauty.

Of course the food was epic. 

khachapurri (bread with cheese)

Khinkalli (dumpling with meat)


Fishy fishies. 

Our friends little one. He was cute.. but had WAY TOO MUCH energy!
 A few pictures of the riding taken from video. I really need to edit this but it will have to wait for a later post.

It was snowing on the night we were leaving. We almost stayed. The trip back took about the same amount of time. All night. The ride in the van was horrible but you seem to forget about that when the riding is so good.