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Transport

Transport from Poland to Georgia
Unfortunately there is no direct transportation from Poland to Georgia. There is a choice between going by plain (via Munich, Vienna, Riga, Minsk or Kiev), traveling overland (or overland and sea). Sometimes it is possible to find plane tickets for 1000 PLN both sides, normally it costs 1500 PLN for 150 though obviously the tickets should be reserved well in advance, at least one month.

The detailed and often actualized description of transport can be found at www.kaukaz.pl and it seems, that this source gives the best information on this subject in Polish internet.

There are several alternative ways of transport from Tbilisi to Pankisi Ravine.
Alternative I
The hosts from Pankisi Ravine offer to pick up tourists from the airport (or from the Ortaczala bus station, or other points in Tbilisi). They assure transportation by a car or by minibus. Such way is obviously more comfortable than traveling on your own. The cost of organizing the transportation from Tbilisi to the Pankisi Ravine depends on the number of tourists. We suggest individual negotiations with people listed in “Contact” chapter of this side.
Ticket for one person from Tbilisi to Duisi costs out 8 (lari) GEL.

Alternative II - minibus
Traveling by a minibus
The direct minibus from Tbilisi to Pankisi Ravine leave from station the Ortachala Bus Station (gr. orTaWala - the eastern part of the city). There is municipal transportation to the station – routes, among others no. 94 and 48 - ATTENTION! you should ask about right route numbers on the spot because routs change. Routs are described in Georgian, it good to learn at least the alphabet. If however we travel in a larger group or we have lots of baggage, it is wise to catch or to order a taxi - ex. (822) 9242 or (822) 929, because it is possible not to fit in to the minibus. If we order a taxi by telephone one should establish the price before the ride. Ortaczala Station lies far from the centre, so the price of taxi can vary from 2 to 5 GEL.
The reference map of Tbilisi, see ex. www.map.ge/
The buses schedule from Ortachala see http://www.caucasus.ge/ganrigi/ortachala.htm

On the station one should look for routs to:
Dusi (gr. …) - 8.00 o’clock
Dżokolo (gr. …) - by it Chokes and Birkiani - 14.20h
Omalo (gr. … ) - 15.30h

Ticket costs 8 lari GEL and can be bought in cash desk or from the driver. Attention - the names of target places be written in Georgian, so it is good to right them down.

Buses run every day, they leave the station about 8, 12 and 14 o’clock. One should be at the station one hour before the bus departure.- especially, if we have large baggage and we travel in larger group. Simply there can be no places left later. One shoud be patient because usually the driver waits until the majority of places are taken.
There is quite stuffy in the minibus, it is good to sit near the window or behind the driver it -such problems accrue mainly during stops - during the drive the ventilation usually is sufficient (the open windows).
Travel from Tbilisi to Ravine takes about 4 hours. There is a stop more or less half the way – you can was use the toilet, have a drink, buy some food (ex. hot chaczapuri or bread).

If there will be no places left on route directly to our destination we can travel with change of busses - in Achmeta (gr. ახმეტა) or in Telawi (gr. თელავი). Minibuses from Tbilisi to Achmeta and Telawi between 8 am and 6 pm run more or less every hour – 45 min. and they cost 5 GEL to Ahmeta and 4 GEL to Telawi. From Telawi surely you can go to Achmeta. From Achmeta we can travel to the Ravine by minibus or by taxi, or we can arrange with the hosts to pick us up.

If we travel in a larger group we can rent small bus which will take us to our destination- this will cost a bit more than regular minibus.

Return:
It is most comfortable to come back minibus directly from the Ravine:
From Dżokolo (through Dusi and Birkiani) about 6.00 o’clock
From Dusi about 11.40h
From Omalo about 7.00 o’clock

It is good to ask hosts to call the bus driver in order to book place for us. Sometimes the driver can arrive to the indicated address suitably earlier.
Minibuses in Tbilisi go to Isani and Ortaczała stations.

Alternative III - by car
They are 2 roads leading to the Ravine. Road through …, looks shorter, but is in a very bad shape. Locals rather avoid going by it- however it is very picaresque. You rather shouldn’t choose this road, if you are going by passenger car.

In Tbilisi you can rent a car – for example recommended by Lonely Planet.: www.avis.pl cosmo@gol.ge, hertz@georgia.com.ge . Petrol is little cheaper than in Poland, prices of gas also and oil are rising and are comparable.

Road though Telawi, is the one which minibuses use. Longer, but in better shape. Not until Achmeta road becomes more difficult (places begin where there is no asphalt at all).

Traveling by car we should always remember that the state of roads in Georgia is rather bad- approach to Pankisi Ravine is not an exception here. Beside it is not easy to drive in Georgia - locals drive well but quickly and quite dangerously. Thre is a possibility to rent a car with a driver obviously. You can read more on this subject here:


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