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Riding Georgia’s Infamous Abano Pass :: Video of the Week

abano pass

The Abano Pass is a stretch of unpaved track linking Omalo to Pshaveli in the northwest region of Georgia. Featuring 70 kilometers of gravel, rock, mud, and water crossings, at 2,864 meters (9,396 feet) above sea level, the road is the highest drivable pass in the Greater Caucasus mountain range. Well-known within the adventure biking community, this road is a must-do for overland travelers passing through the region.

Eager to tackle the task, UK motorcycle riders Matt and Lucie of We Are Adventure Riders bring us along for the ride in this video of the week. Built by the Soviets in 1978, the seasonal road carves through a vibrant green countryside and above the treeline, topping out with 360-degree views and a scattering of Delica vans and a dozen or so motorcycles.

Before the ascent, the couple drops some gear at a local guesthouse, lighting their load for the tricky pass. Gaping potholes filled with water and seemingly random paved sections keep the couple on their toes. Matt and Lucie provide a play-by-play account of the conditions, which surely will help those in the research stage of their next trip to Georgia.

Although Abano Pass appeared in an episode of the BBC’s Most Dangerous Roads a few years ago, Matt and Lucie make it look easy despite riding two-up and fully loaded. The descent is more straightforward, and the couple continues to an astonishing hilltop camp spot overlooking the surrounding mountaintops. Yep, I think I’ll add this one to the bucket list.

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Read more: Georgia, The Road Leads Back to You by Olivia Casari

Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. As Senior Editor at Overland Journal, you can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or writing about the unsung women of overlanding history. @desktoglory_ash