Fastest way from Turkey to Mestia/Ushguli? (without flying)
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Apr 25, 2013 10:10 AM Last Post By: jabista
Apr 24, 2013 7:35 AM
Fastest way from Turkey to Mestia/Ushguli? (without flying)I am currently in Trabzon, Turkey and as the weather forecast is decent for this weekend, I am planning to head for Georgia - I would like to go as quickly as possible to Mestia, and ideally onward to Ushguli. Any ideas on how many days this will take or where I will need to break the journey? I believe I can get from Trabzon to the border/Batumi in 3 hours and then onward to Zugdidi in another 3 hours. Is there public transport from Zugdidi to Mestia in the afternoon or only in the morning? Because it would be awesome if I could start early and make it to Mestia in 1 long day... Also, how would hitch-hiking be on the Mestia road if there is no public transport?
Apr 24, 2013 7:52 AM
Apr 24, 2013 8:34 AM
2I found hitch-hiking on the Mestia road as a solo traveler easy, quick and rewarding. Rewarding as in the people I met and the scenery I got to see.
Trabzon to Mestia in a day? I think it can be done if you start early and make the right choices. You don`t want to wander around Batumi or Zugdidi looking for the right bus terminal for the next ride. In Batumi, you want to be dropped off where the bus to Zugdidi departs. In Zugdidi you want to be dropped off where a bus runs to any place on the "Zugdidi Jvari Mestia Lasdili" road. Take it to the last station and put your thumb out. Give it try. It still is the civilized world and you`ll always find a bed.
Apr 24, 2013 4:53 PM
3I haven’t been to Svaneti since the new road was built, but three years ago I found it rather slow-going to hitch from Zugdidi to Mestia, though you can make it in a day. I started at about 0700 and everything was fine until the first village in Svaneti (I’ve forgotten its name, sorry), but then traffic on the road dropped to almost nothing and I had to wait until the late afternoon. The locals kept asking me if I was Israeli (evidently a common nationality for hitchhikers in the area) and said they had seen a number of hitchhikers get stuck there before. Eventually a marshrutka came along and when I said I was hitchhiking and wasn’t looking for paid transportation, the driver told me he’d take me for free since he was had a couple of empty places anyway. Needless to say, the other passengers were not happy.
Hitchhiking after Mestia really depends on your luck. From there to Ushguli it’s pretty much only 4WD vehicles and they are often full. You might spend more time walking than in a lift.
Hitchhiking from Trabzon to Mestia in one day? Sorry, that’s not happening. From Trabzon you've still got a couple of hours to the Georgian border, then there are long queues at passport control. Any long-distance traffic out of Batumi is likely heading towards Tbilisi, so you'd have to get out at Samtredia and get another lift northwest. You might get from Trabzon to Zugdidi in one day, but no further.
Apr 25, 2013 1:44 AM
Apr 25, 2013 10:10 AM
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