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The European route E97 is a E 97 is a road from Ukraine to Turkey, passing Russia and Georgia. It passes through the disputed territory of Abkhazia, which makes it extremely difficult to travel for hitchhikers without CIS passports, as transit through Abkhazia is de-facto impossible.
As part of the M-27 (Dzhubga-Sochi-Tbilisi), the E97 is the main road of Abkhazia. The road goes along the shore of the Black Sea at a length of 215 km. It is mainly a winding and pretty narrow road with no markings, partly missing asphalt. As in 2011, roadworks are on their way to fix the highway. Distance from the Russian border to Sukhumi is 120 km, from Sukhumi to the Georgian border 95 km. As the roads are filled mainly with local drivers and taxis, hitchhiking takes approximately 2-3 hours for each part.
At border checkpoint Psou, be aware of many minibusses and taxis. Just walk about 1 km further towards the crossing with a GAI (police post) and hitchhike there, as motorized vehicles crossing the border take another way, though have to cross this post as well. Within the country, is it probably fastest to hitchhike from one GAI to the other. These can be found each 20 to 50 km. Traffic police is very hospitable towards hitchhikers. See mentostop for more info. Outside those DPS-posts, hitchhiking is very possible as well, though be aware of some narrow roads, the abundance of human settlements, the predominance of local traffic and Abkhazians who love to drive very fast.
DPS-post positions between Psou and Sukhumi are as follows: 1) Холодная Речка (cold river) 2) Бзыбь (Bzyb', between exits of Ritsa and Pitsunda) 3) At km 2 of the road Bzyb'-Pitsunda 4 At turn to Мюссер (Misri), 5) Near Gudauta (for traffic coming from Gagra), 6) Приморское ("Seaside", near Novyy Afon), 7) Верхняя Эшера (Upper Escher) 8) At entry to Sukhumi