We continued our tour heading from Trabzon to Georgia by bus and taxi.

We went with the Metro bus company who have only recently started an ‘on the hour, each hour 7am – 7pm’ service from Trabzon to Batumi – the first major city in Georgia. It seems the Trabzon – Batumi fare is 25TL as with all the bus companies.

It took four hours to reach the border but the bus follows the coastline so you gaze at the Black Sea on one side, and the very impressive mountains on the other – except when the bus dives inland to call at minor bus stations touting for passengers.

At the border we were told to get off the bus with all our bags and join the queue at the Turkish passport police point. We didn’t get on the bus again.

We were stamped out of Turkey, then joined another queue to enter Georgia.

Once through that we quickly changed some money and sat down in the first cafe and, ten minutes later as we downed cold beers to celebrate our arrival, we watched the bus leave without us.

We didn’t mind. We’d had enough of the bus’ slow progress along the coast road, and were quite happy to take a taxi into Batumi.

In fact the bald man in the photo, eating at the next table to us, was our taxi driver.

The Georgian currency is the ‘lari’ and 1TL is 1.25 lari.

A fast taxi to Batumi cost 20 lari for the 20-km ride – our first indication that Georgia is cheap by Turkish standards.

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