Question. How do you run 30km in 30 degree heat with 900 metres of elevation? Easy. Plan to run 15km, proceed to get lost, then believe you know more than Google Maps. So happened to me on one of our last days in Signaghi.
The upside to getting lost, however, is that you’ll visit places you never had any intention of visiting and see things you otherwise would never have seen. The run in Signaghi started out OK as I headed out to check another part of its cool walls.
A few random turns later and I was running through Signaghi’s Cemetary, before reaching a dead end (excuse the pun) and having to turn around again.
Heading back in the right direction I managed to locate the Ethno-Park Museum. The tiny museum has a few “ethno” items on display but it’s not really worth the effort to visit. Doing a lap of the grounds, however, takes you past a large number of different grape varietals that are used in Georgian Wine production. This was quite neat as I now know exactly what I’m drinking at the end of the day!
Heading up the hill took me to The Terraces Restaurant, which has some commanding views of Signaghi and the Alazani plains.
Running past the town of Nukriani, all was still going to plan. Not long after I was turning around, having done close to what I’d wanted to run for the day and heading back home. At Nukriana there was a sign for and thinking it might be nice to have another look at the Monastery and Nino’s Spring, which we didn’t see when we were there last, I obligingly headed down the road to nowhere. Well, I say nowhere but what I really mean is, nowhere near Bodbe Monastery and therefore, nowhere near Signaghi. Instead, the road took me on a rather large loop through the small villages of Zemo Bodbe, Bodbiskhevi, Asanuri and Kvenakeli. This was actually lots of fun, as it was mostly flat and downhill and there were plenty of interesting things to see along the way, including a lovely hotel run for goats.
But after that, it stopped being so much fun. Having now reached the Alazani plains there was no alternative of getting to Signaghi, except 400 metres uphill. Normally not too much of a problem. But on tired legs, it wasn’t long before I was being passed by other animals on the track.
Having run out of water and not brought any food I was looking forward to finally reaching the outskirts of Signaghi. As if mocking me, however, the only things for sale were home made wine and chacha (in plastic bottles) and honey, none of which was going to help my bone dry mouth.
Finally dragging my sorry ar$e back home, I vowed to next time listen to Google Maps and turnaround when I knew I was way of course. Advice I’m sure to adhere to until the next time I don’t.