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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 77)

Tatev To Goris

White ground, snippets of snow and everything frozen, luckily the first 40 km was a dirt road and not part of the 96.7% of asphalt.

Even though it was frozen the traction was still pretty good as long as I stayed off the puddles and fallen leaves, the road was very nice with autumn colours stealing the limelight from mum natures white crayon at the lower altitude.

Autumn shining through
Heading down into the valley away from snow.

Was soon enough and the black top turned up again, avoiding the shady patches like the plague it was easy enough to pick a safe route.

In Armenia there are random villages in the middle of nowhere, always based around a water source but some are in reasonably unforgiving locations and some snuggly nestled into trees like a child cuddling a blanket, pretty much all have an epic outlook.

Nestled in tight

My mission today was to do the bottom southern loop down to Iran and back up to somewhere with a heater.

I stopped at the bottom, across from Iran, literally across the river, what does one do in this situation…pick up a rock and biff it over the river, now my DNA is in Iran so I have been there LOL.

That is Iran right there, peaceful and tranquil
Iranian mountains making a stand

On the return leg (towards the heater) the mountain ranges were majestic in the sun, the day perfect for riding other than very chilly, I had a lunch stop to take in my surroundings, I would have to say it was a quick bite cos I reckon I was using more calories trying to keep warm than what I was eating.

Views from the main road
Lunch stop, crisp it was

M2, no not square metres, the M2 is a squiggly road that encompasses the Bazarcay river and the town Vorotan at the bottom of the gorge and runs between Kapan north to Goris.

This is the zig zag to end zig zags, all paved now and a blast, now the interesting bit, the road runs through part of Azerbaijan and back into Armenia, now these 2 countries still have a border standoff and you cannot get from one to the other.

Armenia asked Azebaijan to help upgrade the road but apparently that neighbourly thing didn’t happen, according to Armenians this ground is not Azerbaijans it is Armenians but google show it crisscrossing.

See the GPS line is Azerbaijan
Coupla coul features along the way

Goris, neat town and ancient with part of the old city carved into the surrounding rock, very neatly situated in a Valley the old town part and a lot of the newer town all stone building so the town is very nice indeed.


Goris To Gyumri

A bolt down the tarseal and back towards Georgia.

Not much to rave on about today other than keeping warm and keeping away from the Police.

The Police, I was parked having a bite to eat, a Police car came along and pulled in front of me… 

My first thought was seriously WTF now?, Officer hops out with a big grin on his face, comes over and gives the thumbs up for the bike. I respond in kind thinking well this is ok, in his minimal English and my extremely minimal Armenian we had a 5 minute chat and the usual “where are you from?”

Upon saying New Zealand his eyes lit up which was nice, Kiwis are respected here. He says “please wait” …(oh no) and goes back to his car, he brings back an Armenian flag and gives it to me so we promptly put it on 45, he thanks me for putting it in full view, shakes my hand and goes.

Another great experience the Kazak and Kyrgie Police should take note of, be normal to foreigners and stop trying to stiff them.

Yay my own Armenian flag

Making my way I spotted these mountains, unfortunately, they (two of them) were semi-hidden from smoke, I am sure on a clear day they would look majestic but today was just the tops sticking out.

Sorry I do not know the name

Further down the track I spotted some old ruins so had to take a look, was cool, there is some serious history from over 1000 years ago recorded.

Many ancient ruins around here, blown apart from any wars, kinda sad there has been and continues to be so much fighting between countries.
The other side

Into Gyumri I had prebooked a place so I was off the road and sorted before the big chill hit late afternoon.

The place I stayed at has a restaurant downstairs, and they delivered food upstairs…awesome, got a HUGE meal which I could not quite finish for very little money…suits a dutchie.

The next days lunch...sorted!

Author of this article: Twomotokiwis