There is an ancient passage from the Georgian capital Tbilisi, through the great Caucasus mountain range to Vladikavkaz in Russia. Today it is called the Georgian military “highway”. Highway is somewhat of a misnomer for this spectacular dirt track that was engineered in the 19th century with the Russian annexation of the Caucasus and subsequently used to transport Soviet military hardware.

Thankfully at present there is no threat of war or banditry on the highway. The only threat on this deserted passage is from the odd driver in an exhausted Lada, swerving  at dangerous speeds to avoid potholes next to sheer drops to the valley below. How these cars survive these roads defies logic in the first place. What they are doing here is also a mystery as the border between Russia and Georgia is closed, effectively making the route a dead end at Kazbegi. 

But all this does not matter. The passage is a spectacular one. For us it felt like having the entire Swiss Alps to ourselves. A little piece of biking heaven.

Here are a few pictures which do not do justice to the region but hopefully give an indication of its beauty.

At the bottom of the valley a lovely dam.


Some rain would help.


We start to climb higher.


And reach the first mountain stream.


… and our first village.


The main village and its ambulance. This would make a great camper…




The mountain streams increase.



While some trucks become bogged down.





It feels like having the Swiss alps all to yourself.


With the exception of the odd Lada. How they survive these roads defies logic.


One that did not make it




The market at the last village near the Russian border. No internet but Google has a presence, even here.


Fuel is becoming an ever increasing problem on this trip.


And is found in the most unlikely of places. Quality is often dubious at +- 80 Octane, at best.



A moving memorial to fallen comrades.


In the most deserted of areas.


The climb continues …


We hug the edge to take in the scenery.


And its worth it.


Deserted settlements.


While others are trying to be resurrected.


A tiled mosaic, again far removed.


Kazbegi & end of the road ( the border is closed to foreigners), making for a great trip back down.