On the way I must had a bad kebab or heat humidity and overall exhaustion did their job but somewhere on the Caspian Sea I started to feel my physical limits. Thankfully Iranians are very hospitable people, especially I have to thank Mohammad from Gorgan who helped me regain my strength.
Author: moritz (Page 1 of 3)
What I understood about mountains is that the higher you get the colder it gets. Now the Caspian Sea is a huge depression at 28 meters below sea level, so you can imagine it is very hot there plus the humidity is really high which makes it super exhausting to cycle. Also, the temperatures don’t really drop at night. However, for Iranians the Caspian Sea seems to be a big holiday resort where they travel in summer to escape the heat in the south.
Arriving in Iran I was a bit overwhelmed by the big interest people had in two sweaty and dirty idiots on their bicycles. Somewhere on the way Tom had to flight back to Australia and so I kept on cycling on my own through the Iranian mountains, slowly approaching the Caspian Sea only that now it was very hot, dry and no more trees that would spend some shadow.
The further you cycle south towards the Iranian border the higher the mountains get and the steeper the roads. Also the road quality seems to decrease more and more which doesn’t make buses faster if you for example have to drive back to the capital to pick up a visa. Anyways, very exhausing.
The area south of Yerevan is a huge valley beneath Mount Ararat. It is also full of apricot plantations and we were right in time for the harvest. After sleeping under an apricot tree I played a little concert for the apricot pickers and I have to say I never ate so many apricots in my live before.
From Lake Sevan to Yerevan it’s only downhill for 70 kilometers and once you’re there you can enjoy European conveniences, for the last time in quite a while. However, as the end of Ramadan had postponed the process of our Iranian visas we had to leave towards the Iranian border without visas having to catch a bus back to pick them up as soon as they were ready.
Lake Sevan is a mountain lake and the biggest lake of Armenia, it is at 2000 meters altitude and you can have a pretty refreshing swim in it after the climb. However it took me quite a while to find a spot that was not covered with litter to film this song.
From Lake Sevan T
In Tbilisi I also became some company from my friend Tom Kaye from Australia who decided to fly in and accompany me for a while. Cycling in a group is very nice especially when you encounter the first annoyance of visa policy as at least you have someone to share your cluelessness with.
Arriving in Tbilisi was a felt very good after the pretty exhausting climb in the North Caucasus and after cycling the first 4000 kilometers I was ready for a break. Tbilisi is a most adequate place for a break, I ate a lot, slept in the park and bought myself a gas mask on the local soviet flea market.
I also had the chance to play a concert for the lovely people at SofarSounds Tbilisi and they made a lovely video of it.
After I passed Rostov on Don it was another 400km of pure boredom of just fields and super straight roads in what is called the Kuma–Manych Depression. I was about to give up on Russia when finally the first mountains of the Caucasus appeared in Stavropol. I had very nice hosts there and it turned out that Alex could actually play the harmonica part of one of my songs better than me even though he modestly called himself a ‘low skill player’. I guess the world needs more low skill players then.
To Nalchick was a very long and exhausting 170km day, but I was rewarded on the next day with a bath in a hot mineral spring on a mountain. You can also get mineral water from a spring to drink. But I have to add here that mineral water in Russia is quite different from what we call mineral water in Germany and probably the rest of Europe. Their mineral water contains actually minerals and I think that’s disgusting. Anyways the bath was damn sweet.
After that it got exciting, in Nalchik which is the capital of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic I stayed with a lady who turned out to be working for the first Russian TV channel РОССИЯ1. And after several passport and security checks and making sure that I’m not up to any conspiracy they let me into their TV cathedral and made a little сужет about me. So, here I am on the russian news.
And besides all these funny things you can fun some nice wild camp spots in th caucasus region. Here I made a short video when I was about my fine little home that I’m carrying around with me.
After my last night in Russia that I spend in Vladikavkaz I turned south into the mountains towards Georgia. I made some videos while crossing the mountain pass to Tbilisi. The road is climbing up and up there and I could have made more videos but I guess I was too exhausted and too overwhelmed by the beauty of the mountain panoramas. So don’t judge me too hard, I’m not a film maker..
I played a song at 2400m, it is really cold up there and I could hardly feel my fingers after this little video session. Some people call this the geographical border between Europe and Asia.