Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

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Tot hier en verder
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby Tot hier en verder » Wed May 30, 2018 2:03 pm

Thanks for sharing your story, Milad! The Russian flag and FSB were not there yet last October, so that's a development I hadn't heard about yet. Does anyone know whether things changed at the Psou crossing as well?
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Tot hier en verder - Tegendraads en grensverleggend

Doghi
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby Doghi » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:19 pm

Hey everyone, I passed through Ingur the other day and was delayed (pulled out of the line because if a foregin passport). I was worried at first (especially because I was with my girlfriend who speaks no Russian at all) but after about an hour of waiting we were taken to the office of a Russian officer who interviewed us (plus one more foreigner) in Russian and explained that because the world cup in Russia is coming up, Russia was worried that people would try and sneak into Russia via Abkhazia. So if you cross in the next month or so, expect to be pulled to the side and interviewed, as well as to wait longer at the border.
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Granite2018
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby Granite2018 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:35 pm

Crossed into Abkhazia and back again in early October 2018. For various reasons, I only arrived at the border at 13:00 on the way in. I handed my passport over to the Georgian policeman sitting in the checkpoint office and he took a photo of it on his phone and told me to wait ("one hour maximum"). I hung around the bus stop shelter and cafe/shop while waiting. Exactly one hour later, he came over to the bus shelter, handed me my passport and told me I could go.

There were quite a few minibuses driving between the Georgian and Abkhazian side, some with UNHCR stickers on them. You might be able to get a lift from them, but I walked.

I handed my passport and visa letter over at the Abkhazian checkpoint and was told to wait outside. Less than two minutes later, they called my name out and told me to proceed to the Russian checkpoint.

At the Russian checkpoint, I was pulled to the front of the queue and asked a few questions by a soldier sitting down behind a mirrored glass screen (which made it much more difficult to understand what he was saying, as I struggled to hear what he was saying and not seeing his face didn't help). I was then told to wait, during which time another soldier carried out a half hearted search of my bag, asking if I had any alcohol, cigarettes, drugs...or literature. Around 15 minutes later, an officer came out and asked me a few questions in very broken English (Are you a tourist? First time in Abkhazia? How long do you want to stay?....How do you know about Abkhazia). He then told me I was good to go.

I spent 45 minutes, maximum, on the Abkhazian/Russian side.The Abkhazian/Russian side was much faster than I expected and I was out at the other side at 15:00 (Georgian time), two hours after arriving at the Georgian checkpoint.

I was a bit nervous about getting to Sukhum that late in the day because I'd heard about Gal becoming more dangerous in the afternoon, with muggings and bogus document checks etc., but the taxi driver from the border to Gal told me that it was no longer a problem. I can't tell, to be honest, I only waited in Gal for around 45 minutes for a mashrutka to Sukhum, which left at 15:00. There was also a mashrutka from the border which connected with the one from Gal to Sukhum. No drama at all and before I knew it, I'd arrived in Sukhum.

On the way back, I left Sukhum a bit later than I would have liked to, catching a Mashrutka at 15:00 (or 15:30, not 100% anymore) from Sukhum central railway station. I arrived in Gal 1.5 hours later and caught a taxi to the border. Again, no drama. Leaving Abkhazia was very fast. A Russian soldier asked if I understood Russian and asked me to open my bag for a search. We chatted a bit in Russian and then he switched to good English and wished me a safe journey. His colleague checked my passport and took the Abkhazia visa out. Both times (entering/exiting) the Russians were professional and friendly.

On the Georgian side, they simply looked at my passport and seemed to tick me off some list on their computer. Took two minutes and no bag search. I asked the cop about a Mashrutka to Zugdidi but it was already around 18:00 at that point and none were available. He told me the price for a taxi to Zugdidi was 8 Lari and told one of the waiting taxi drivers so as well. So both the Georgian and Abkhazian/Russian side were friendly to me.

One important thing to note is that Abkhazia is on Moscow time, which is one hour earlier than Georgia.
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