After a long day's ride I landed in Gori. This city was Stalin's hometown and the city occupied by Russian forces during the conflict last year. It was quite eerie entering the town square that I had visited 2 years earlier. Stalin's massive statue was still standing but now the main square was pocked with bulletholes.
I ended up staying with a family and being constantly checked on by a little old lady from next door. She was about the height of an Ewok from Star Wars and made the same noises.
I was very lucky to run into a Halo Trust worker when he was attempting to figure out which colored box in the market was milk (Halo is a demining NGO). He is one of the four foreigners working on Halo Trust's project to clean up cluster munitions left over from the Russian/Ossetian/Georgian conflict in August 2008. He gave me a run though of Halo operations which gave me a little more insight into the realities of a conflict when no one really seems to know what actually happened.
Another long ride today and I am in the former-Soviet mountain resort town of Borjomi staying with a family that is hosting peacecorps workers. Well actually they are ex-peacecorps because their project was disbanded with the conflict but they decided to stay. Lovely couple.
The drivers here are crazy and the roads are bad but the people are friendly. Going through the countryside I seem to keep aquiring massive quantites for fruit from locals willing to share.