[Updated 28/11/14] I’m currently in Georgia researching the fifth edition of the Bradt Travel Guide. I’m happy to report that almost everything is easier and more straightforward for tourists than on previous visits – the roads are better, power cuts are rarer, more people speak some English, there are more hotels, hostels, guesthouses and homestays in more and more places, and wherever you stay there’s almost bound to be Wi-Fi.
Ikalto and beyond
[Updated 28/11/14] p. 255 I’m keen to retract all statements about the Pankisi Gorge being closed to tourists or in any way dangerous to visit. This has not been the case for the best part of a decade, and Pankisi really is a very interesting and welcoming place to visit, home for a couple of centuries to Kists or Chechen-speaking Muslims. The best base is Nazy’s Guesthouse in Jokolo (reached by marshrutka or shared taxi from Akhmeta; http://nazysguesthouse.com), where Nazy speaks excellent English and is keen to give as much help and information as you might require. Guides and horses can be provided for hiking and horseback expeditions into Tusheti.