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Mestia

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'''Mestia''' is a city in the Svaneti region of [[Georgia]].
Mestia is not a large town and can be walked out of easily. It has the major [[Svaneti]] road running through it. It also has a road that splits off to the north toward the border with [[Russia]] and a trekking trail to the Lekhziri glacier.
Hitching to Mestia is an ordeal! Start early. Give yourself a lot of time because even with a ride the road conditions make the drive a long and bumpy one. There are two ways to get into Svaneti - the western approach beginning in Zugdidi and the eastern approach most likely beginning in Kutaisi. The western approach into the higher elevations of Svaneti is the more traveled by cars. It is supposedly the better cared-for road (even though you wouldn't believe it when you ride on it).
==Hitching In==
Hitching into Mestia can be done from the southwest or the southeast. One end of the [[Svaneti]] road begins in [[Zugdidi]] to the southwest. The other end begins in to road from the southeasttravels through Lentekhi and Ushguli. The approach from [[Zugdidi]] is the more traveled because the road is supposedly in better condition. From either direction, as long as you stay on this main [[Svaneti]] road you will reach Mestia.
The [[Svaneti]] road is a total of 198 kilometers. From [[Zugdidi]] to Mestia is 136 kilometers. From the southeastern start of the Svaneti road to Mestia it is 62 kilometers.
==Hitching Out==
Mestia can easily be walked out of to get onto the [[Svaneti]] road. If you watch the road markers you can make sure you are heading the right direction. The markers are skinny white poles with two square blue plaques declaring the kilometer distances to the ends of the road. If the number facing you is around 140 then you are heading to [[Ushguli]] and [[Lentekhi]]. If it is around 65 then you are heading to [[Zugdidi]].
More traffic seems to leave Mestia for [[Zugdidi]] in the mornings than the evenings. People making day trips into [[Zugdidi]] leave early to traverse the mountain road and make it back up before dark.
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