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Georgia Tkvarcelli Power Plant / Akarmara, Abkhazia - October 2018

The_Raw

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Tkvarcelli was an important coal mining town in the war torn region of Abkhazia, a de facto independent republic which remains internationally recognised as part of Georgia. During the Abkhazian war (from 1992 to 93), Tkvarcheli withstood, through Russian humanitarian and military aid, an uneasy siege by the Georgian forces. As a result of the war the town's industries all but stopped and its population has since decreased from approximately 22,000 to just 5,000 people.

Abkhazia is on the list of places
where the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) advises against all travel. There is no UK consulate support if anything goes wrong so if you were to lose your passport for example, you'd be pretty fucked. With that in mind, and having read a few horror stories of tourists being aggressively robbed around Tkvarcelli, we were pretty skeptical about coming here. Thanks to some advice from @Olkka, who visited earlier in the year, we chose to hire a driver who knew the area well and we didn't encounter any problems. Top tip of the day - take a bottle of vodka for the guys demolishing the power plant and you'll be reet.

Tkvarcelli power plant has seen better days. On the upper levels there were holes in the floor everywhere, hidden by overgrown plants and moss. We tried to be extra careful although it was difficult to tell if any structure we were standing on was safe. There were workers actively demolishing the roof above one end of the plant as well so we had to stick to the opposite end. Thankfully that's where all the good stuff was. The only other obstacle was the squatters but they didn't seem to mind us being there.



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Workers were sporadically dropping huge sections of roof onto the ground from above

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Much has been dismantled

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The Squatters

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Manoeuvring around this building was so sketchy

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These stairs were clinging on by dear life. We went up these but the stairs above were completely mangled

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Nope

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Coal conveyor chute



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Control Room. Pretty battered but I loved it in here

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The central turbine. I may have got a bit carried away photographing this.

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It would be amazing to have seen this in its hey day.





Akarmara was a nearby mining town. Wars and economic change have emptied the town of the 5,000 people who lived there in the 1970s leaving it pretty much a ghost town. Now it is estimated only 35 people remain. It's completely cut off except for a rocky road full of potholes that takes around an hour to navigate. On our arrival we were greeted by some strange looks from the elderly locals, although the local children seemed fascinated by us and one accompanied us for our whole time there. It's a very surreal place where buildings that have a light outside signify that they are lived in. This is to ward off any looters. None of the buildings look lived in otherwise as they are all falling apart.



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The train station has been completely reclaimed by the forest.



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This building was completely trashed except for one flat in the middle inhabited by a young family.



Thanks for looking.​
 
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Andy

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A lot of decay and a great mix. I really like the nature inside and the architecture. 
I had to laugh about the cows. The same happened to me in an abandoned prison in Romania. :D  

 
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The_Raw

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Woweee that's  a beaut!! Could spend days in there ? 

:comp

Yeah me too, the clock was ticking unfortunately! Think our driver thought we might have died he looked so worried when we reappeared

 

Andy

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Yeah me too, the clock was ticking unfortunately! Think our driver thought we might have died he looked so worried when we reappeared

You had a driver (a taxi)? Why didn't you hire a car to be independent? Or would that have been so much more expensive?

 
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The_Raw

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You had a driver (a taxi)? Why didn't you hire a car to be independent? Or would that have been so much more expensive?

I mentioned it in my write up ;) Also, hiring a car in Abkhazia isn't very straight forward and you are uninsured so if anything happens to the car, you're fucked. It is possible to hire a car in Russia and drive through the border from there but we came through the Georgian border. I'm not sure what the deal is there.

 
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The_Raw

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Have You any problems in powerplant or in city? 

No we hired a driver for the day and he was from Tkvarcelli so we had no issues. If you stay in Sukhum city hostel the owner can help you

 
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