After Gelati was the Motsameta Monastery which, our final stop after that grand complex, was on a much smaller scale. Since there was a short walk to it Vasantha stayed back in the car. But despite my by now aching feet I enjoyed the walk through a tranquil forest, the entrance to the complex over a sort of drawbridge, and the views over the river that encircled the place on three sides.

Back in town, we went to the Bagrati cathedral, and the ruins of the palace by it, and then collapsed at the hotel after that exhausting day. Later we went out to dinner to the same restaurant where I had the basic khachapuri imereti, which came in a very different shape, a pie with lots of cheese inside. But the pie was enormous, and the chicken dish Vasantha had was also excessive, so we had what remained parcelled up which proved just as well for it made up for a couple of meals over the next few days.

Our next stop was Batumi, which we went to by bus, getting there in the early afternoon. The hotel we had chosen was as near the sea as possible but, though the receptionist told us we had a sea view, since the room was on the second floor we saw just trees, with a tiny glimpse of blue through the leaves. But since the room was not ready when we got there, we walked down to the beach for a drink at a little café, and a piece each of the khachapuri we had brought with us.

Batumi, the mid-point of our tour, was the ideal place to relax and renew our energies. I spent that afternoon in bed, quite exhausted, though my aching feet and now splitting soles were relieved by lots of body lotion. Vasantha went exploring by himself and announced when back that he had paddled in the Black Sea, which he thought most impressive since it was incredibly cold.

He had also found a couple of restaurants, but I turned down the one in the hotel and instead we had a splendid dinner at a wayside café, where he was persuaded to taste the wine. The food there was luscious, and the lady, who introduced herself as Russo – and remembered my name the next day – was wonderfully friendly. And the wine was excellent, so I had a glass of red to follow the white I had tried with Vasantha, and then sat out on the balcony as night fell.

And I also hugely enjoyed coffee on our first morning in Batumi, out on the balcony, even though I had had to buy milk since this was not supplied by the hotel. In Kutaisi I had bought cream which was slightly sour, here the milk coagulated since the fridge had not worked. But sitting outside was wonderful, with my computer, as the light spread over the sky.

The pictures are of Motsameta and the view over the river, then the bell tower at the cathedral and the ruins of the palace there. There follows the cafe where we had dinner, while the last picture was taken at the cafe where we dined the following night, in Batumi, with in between the coast as we drove there.