Aqwa

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Aqwa
<map lat="43.0069700000001" lng="40.989300000000306" zoom="11" view="0" float="right" />
Information
Country:
Flag of Abkhazia
Abkhazia
Population: 64.500
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Aqwa (Abkhaz: Аҟәа, Aqwa; Georgian: სოხუმი, Sokhumi; Russian: Сухум or Сухуми, Sukhum or Sukhumi) is the capital of Abkhazia. A dilapidated former Soviet resort town, this city is a post-apocalyptic re-imagining of every beach town stereotype.

It's actually possible to walk the whole distance through town, which is not that much. Nevertheless, hitchhiking even in the city center is possible, though there might be some private taxi's in between.

Hitching out

North towards Pitsunda, Gagra, Russia

Take a mini bus, taxi, trolley bus or walk towards the central train station. Next to it, you'll find the main road leading northwards. Just hitchhike along the road or walk about 1 km up, where you can find a petrol station. But probably you will get a ride before you move a foot.

South towards Ochamchira, Gali

Option 1 (from inside the city)

Get yourself to the main road close to the city center. This road, Lakoba Street (ул. Лакоба), is where most foreigners have to obtain their visa (house #21). Walk southwards a few meters until you cross a bridge. Another 500m further is a sort of roundabout located with some shops and a stop for local mini busses. You can also take a minibus towards this stop, just stop them along Lakoba street. Just behind that bus stop it's a perfect spot to hitchhike southwards out of town. Try to get a ride at least towards the next GAI (police post), which is just a few kilometers further. Inbetween, the road is extremely narrow and people tend to drive very fast, it might be uncomfortable for the hitchhiker to stop cars there, though people might stop for you anyway.

Option 2 (outside the city)

Take the trolleybus in direction south out of the city. The very last station makes a good hitchhiking spot at the main road. The bus goes quite far out of the city and costs only 3 Ruble.

Accommodation and Sleep

Abkhaz people are very hospitable in general. Next to that, pitching a tent in the outskirts or at the beach is possible, but it's unlikely you find a spot to hide good enough. Entering the local park (botanic garden) is not free. For a good, somewhat more silent beach, just hitchhike out of town for a few kilometers to the next village southwards. The road passes nearly next to the beach there, where you can find somewhat more silence at night. If nothing helps, many people also rent private rooms, a good indicator is 250-300 Rouble within Sukhum per person/night (August 2011).

Other useful info

There seems to be only one internet café (Summer 2011) in town called "Smile". Ask the youth, they know where it is. Wifi is largely unknown. Abkhazia has a pretty good 3G network though, sim cards are widely available.