Iranian visas in our pockets and our bikes screaming to get back on the road, we left Yerevan late in the afternoon (some time after 4 p.m.) on 15th March. Obviously our time management could have been a little bita lot better, but by the time we had organized all the little bits and bobs and said goodbyes it was somehow already late. Since we had set this as our absolute last leaving date (we wanted to make it in time for the Nowruz celebrations in Iran) we stuck to the plan and were hoping to cycle the flat distance till just before the first big uphill.
As usual, unexpected events occur along the way and we found ourselves some 20 or so km outside of Yerevan city border joining an Armenian picnic which mainly consisted of crispy lavash, freshly grilled fish and a lot of vodka. After a few toasts on Janapar (journey in Armenian), good health and happiness we managed to excuse ourselves, saying we still have some distance we planned to cover.
We had decided to go to Armenia without any expectations (not to repeat the same mistakes we’d made when entering Georgia) – no premature opinions, not expecting anything really, we would wait for Armenia to show its colours itself. This turned out to be the best decision we could have made.
I woke up on 14th November, not having a clue where I was. This was definitely not a tent, since then I would be squeezed between Dainis and Ivars. I had so much free space around me, so we were definitely not Couchsurfing or staying in anyone’s house, there was ceiling… which meant we had not slept under the starry sky. So where..? After these and some more thoughts had run through my head in a split second, it all came back to me, we were in Yalta, Crimea (Ялта, Крим) and had just spent the night in a furniture shop. The uncommon spot probably did it, since it does not happen very often to me and thus it has definitely stayed in my memory.
12th November was again a day of leaving a city, warm bed and shower behind but today it was a whole lot different because of “The Curious Incident of the Bicycles in the Night-time”. It was a completely new experience because I and Laura had to carry our stuff on our backs and we hitch-hiked instead of cycling. For both of us this was the first hitch-hiking experience abroad. You can read about Dainis’ cycling in the previous entry. Continue reading →
The plan was ready and it was a simple one – Laura and Ivars will try to conquer Crimea hitchhiking while I will be pedaling as hard as I possibly can. I must admit that at the outset, I felt excited – on one hand I was excited because I will finally have an opportunity to see the beautiful southern cost of Crimea, but on the other hand I felt as this will be the first real cycling challenge for me (I will have to face steep climbs and long down-hills ).
Beautiful but challenging
On 12th November approximately at 11.20 am after saying farewell to Andrey and Korica, I started off from 21 Kolobova Street, Sevastopol. Getting out from the city was fairly easy, but even then I managed to get lost for couple of minutes. Thanks to a lovely lady who helped me to get back on track, I found my way without any problems. This lady was a true friend of bicycle touring enthusiasts as her son was one of them, thus she was very sad about our misfortune. All in all it seemed that this is going to be a wonderful day and the bicycle will move forward on its own. Continue reading →