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Tibs and Tribulations
Submitted by Tiffany on 25 May, 2009 - 09:58
Eventually reached Tbilisi (Tibs) after a mammoth ride through gale force winds and rain across a mountain range - or at least I think it was mountains as I've managed to arrive in Georgia without a map of the country (long story but basically my own ineptness to blame). Reaching the peak of one, just as I was wistfully thinking of the balmy temperature of the Black Sea, Thelma started spluttering badly- like a smoker's cough whilst back firing at a rapid pace- not good I thought.
And what a place to happen -at the top of a mountain in freezing cold conditions, I pulled over and proceeded to remove the engine covers and take a look; somewhat hampered by the Georgian blokes who could not accept that I might actually know what I was doing. The engine looked fine - or at least there were no big bits of metal falling off. I decided that it must be fuel based.
I went down the hill, put more fuel in (as I was on reserve) and in truth would have stopped at the first town I reached until the rain had at least stopped and I could get to the bottom of the problem - except the image of April waiting for me at Tibs airport at midnight came back to me. She would be furious if I didn't make it, particularly as I hadn't managed to email where I was planning to stay that night in Tibs.
I made the desperate decision to push on- 120kms of Thelma spluttering all the way and doing mostly a maximum of 35-40mph.
Followed by a stressful hour of negotiating my way around the city to get to a hostel where I collapsed on a bed. A tap on the door and "hello Tiffany" said in a distinctly Parisian accent heralded the appearance of Jean Yves. A French guy crossing the world on a Vespa - we knew each other by reputation and had somehow managed to arrive at the same hostel in Georgia within an hour of each other. He guessed it was me by the dusty, British reg BMW with the "Chicks Rule" sticker on it parked in the courtyard.
He has offered to help me sort out the spluttering fuel problem before I leave town, in the meantime he took me on a guided walk of the city and nearly got me killed on Tib's finest boulevards with his Gallic road crossing antics. He thought I was a hard-core traveller who travelled without a map but I quickly confessed it was due to accident not design that I was without a map of Georgia.
And not to worry folks, he has got his own room, I think he'd had advance warning about my Giardia, there is just me and April in our dorm. She arrived safely, if a little bleary eyed (or maybe that was just me) at 1.00am this morning to be met in a very British way as I had a personal driver on hand to get us back to the hostel - the owner's septugenarian brother-in-law - a further hazard to my life and limbs with his erratic driving, whilst listening to loud cheesy Europop and bellowing at me in German - I think he seems to believe I can understand him more than I actually do.