Batumi – Tbilisi, 358 kmAfter the alarm clock gently woke us up with the sound of the sea, we again had a wonderful view of the sea. Unfortunately without sun. But in the green. We were just about to start breakfast when it started raining. So we quickly packed up and hit the road, hoping to find a nice place along the way. Unfortunately, we were denied for the time being. We were prevented from doing so by a Hyundai Excel. This small car came towards us in a curve. Because his tires were extremely worn and very full of air, he lost control on a wet road and the rear end broke free. The car ran into our lane and the Opel Frontera, which was driving at the head of the convoy, plucked the small car with its cowcatcher off the road. During the evasive maneuver the Frontera crashed into the ditch and both cars came to a stop. Nobody was injured. We secured the accident site and surveyed the damage. The 4×4 was stuck, but otherwise no further damage was visible. At the Excel the bumper was torn off. The radiator leaked onto the street. The whole front looked very broken. By chance a civilian police car passed by. The officers clarified the situation. Called a normal traffic patrol to it. It recorded the accident very precisely. The drivers were tested for alcohol, an accident sketch was drawn up. The scene of the accident was filmed. Measured with a tape measure. While the police angrily sent away gawpers, we waved through passing rally teams who wanted to help. The officials even organized a young woman who had worked as an au pair in Schlangenbad near Wiesbaden and acted as a translator. The police officers were very friendly and competent. After the procedure was logged, we were allowed to pull the cart out of the mud, which was possible with the help of the second Opel and two towing ropes. During a test drive we noticed a bent tie rod and an eighth in the rim. The tire was changed. The lane remained as it was. After everything was settled, we were asked if we would still demand money for repair from the other party in the accident. Tobi, the Frontera driver, denied it. The opponent of the accident had already suffered enough damage. The Hyundai driver was fined 200 local bucks and remained on his damage.
We continued our tour after overcoming the shock. We cooked lunch protected from the weather by an old Soviet gas station somewhere in the middle of nowhere at a huge old train station, which should also serve us as a backdrop for vehicle photos. While we rolled on towards Tbilisi, team 9 skipped this stage to rest a bit after the stress of the accident.
And then it came, as it had to come sometime. The supposedly right way led us further and further onto softer and soggy ground, after the sky had opened all floodgates beforehand. After some initial successes in getting free under our own power, each car got stuck in the mud of the Georgian plateau at least once. In this context a big thank you to the awesome team with the Audi Quattro, which together with our tension belt and at the end a Georgian Mitsubishi Pajero with huge tires towed all free.
At a vantage point we recovered briefly from the exertions of the last two hours with a view of the beautiful Georgian landscape, before we headed towards the evening sky glowing in extraterrestrial colors. Epic music was obligatory in all cars.
The evening traffic in Tbilisi was then unexpectedly relaxed, so that the destination at the Olympic Stadium was found quite quickly and without problems with the help of various gas station attendants, a cab driver and another team. The subsequent cab ride back to the city center was an incisive experience. Especially since the W124 cab was not in as good shape as our Benzer by far. We had dinner in a strange restaurant with an almost incomprehensible waitress, neon lights, wood-paneled walls and a shabby disco underneath. Although we didn't really understand the menu, there was quite good and edible stuff on the table. How tired we were after the cab ride back to the camp at half past twelve, you can imagine.