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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).
==The Western Approach==
This road travels through Zugdidi, Jvari, Khaishi, Dizi, and a slew of small villages before you get to the administrative capital of Upper Svaneti region - Mestia.
The road between Zugdidi and Khaishi is mostly paved with numerous rough sections. The road north of Khaishi is much more rough with some sections still being constructed. Even with the road in such poor conditions, all kinds of vehicles still make the trip. Cars, SUVs, vans, lumber trucks and marshrudtkas all slowly crawl along. The traffic gets naturally thinner as you climb higher into the mountains.
==The Eastern Approach==
This approach travels through the cities of Tskaltubo, Lentekhi, ....
More information needed
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 road from the southeast travels 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.
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]].