And back to Tblisi. After the failure of Turkey to excite (journal will be updated retrospectively), the Caucasus have been a delight. Full of hidden churches set in fairy tale forested valleys and monastries perched precariously atop deep gorges with breath taking views. These monks certainly knew something about locating a retreat or the perfect place to hone your chi. Dad arrived a week ago and after a day of exploring Tblisi with its sulphur baths (pHew) and biggest Cathedral in the Region, we headed for Armenia. Stayed in an old Soviet hotel, huge rooms, no water and matronly hotelier. We then headed into the hills and did the UNESCO sites, Sanahin and Haghpat before being put up in a Soviet-era holiday camp, only we were the only ones there.... Apart from a family that lived in a shack down the road (who briefly turned up to let us in and take our money) this giant chalet with 20 rooms, orchards, childrens play areas, swimming pools, fountains and deserted function rooms was completely deserted. So we had to hitch a lift back into to town and have much fun struggling with guide book to get some bread butter and honey for dinner. A seemless adventure that had taken us to into Eagle infested valleys and the steepest cable car in the whole of the USSR ended on a rather desperateand frantic note (as all good adventures should). After arriving at the Armenia/Georgian frontier at 2pm with my dad flying at 2am (plenty of time) we were told that we australians weren't able to get visas at this particular border. It was only later that we learned of the hidden costs (bribes) of cross border traffic in this part of the world. So as we saw our minibus speed of into the Georgian countryside, we pondered our next move, given that we were effectively in the middle of nowhere and had to somehow get back to Yerevan so that we could get up to the main border. The trouble was that minibuses in the caucasus very rarely go anywhere after 3 o'clock and we had no Armenian money. Stuck in no man's land and with the rain starting to pour we started the long trudge back into Armenia, only to be apprehended by the over zealous Armenia immigration guard who decided that since we had officially left the country we were eligible to buy new visas! $50 and we had only just stepped over the line. However at this point our night in shining armour turned turned up in the form of a short squat Armenian fellow with his van load of grannies and their fresh fruit produce. A lift back into the heart of Armenia and a very nice taxi driver got us safely to the big border, where 2 hours of waiting in the hammering rain for the only taxi in the entire area to clear customs we were on our way. Making it into Tblisi in time for a tasty slap Geogian dinner and bottle of red to see my dad safely home with. Now in this fayre city on my own, waiting for Em to catch me up and think I might hit the Georgian military highway, almost up to the Russian border, but safely behind a huge mountain range from those pesky Chechens.