I woke up to clouds and the hint of rain in Mestia. As beautiful as the region was, I was glad I decided to head south. The guest house arranged a minibus to Zugdidi that left around 9.30 for the beautiful and scenic ride that wound around the mountains for about 3 1/2 hours..
Arriving in Zugdidi around noon, I immediately hopped another minibus to Kutaisi. Two hours in a crowded bus passed slowly especially as the scenery was a monotonous spread of one small farm after another. Unlike the hardened, slim farmers in the Svaneti region, these people were uniformly obese.
Tired and hungry, I debated whether or not to overnight in Kutaisi but fortunately there was another bus to Akhalksikhe leaving almost immediately. I grabbed a Pepsi (no Coke Zero in this country) and homemade cake and boarded the old, rickety bus.
I arrived completely exhausted but the family who ran Hotel Almi greeted me like their long-lost cousin.. I checked in wearily and headed to a beautiful room with hardwood floors.
The hotel had a restaurant that conjured up a delicious dinner which I devoured in their pretty garden.