Etappe 3

Etappe 3 was as demanding as I thought it would be. In Armenia my left knee started to feel pain, in Iran I had problems with too friendly people. My budget was finally under control, eventhough my broken tent prevented me from camping in Georgia. I cought almost a perfect climate, so days were warm and nights cool. In the end of October nights were getting perhaps too long. Here is a short summary of each country :

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country roads mentality costs mark
GEO Partially awful, partially OK. Drivers honk at you, traffic is hectic. Lack of road signs. Beautiful views. People are easygoing. There ‘s only one known bike repair place in Tbilisi (close to the velodrome). Roads are going up and down, no tunnels, wind can be very strong. English not spoken. Wild camping. cheapest Hotel/Hostel around 8-10e, street food 2-3e. Wi-Fi helps a lot. 2,5
ARM Same as in Georgia. I took a very mountainish roads, which were very demanding. Truck drivers use their horns a lot. Terrific landscapes. People are mostly friendly but don’t speak English. Kids may follow you with their bicycles. No good bike shops. Maybe a bit more costly than in Georgia, and less of variety. Only one hostel in Yerevan (15e). 3
IR Roads are 80% good, 10% bad and 10% horrible. Lots of road works, though no de-tours. Traffic is really bad. Lot’s of big  and smelly trucks , and noisy motorbikes on normal roads. Honking glooms. Road signs mostly in English, no steep hills. Windy and dry in desert areas,humid in the South. Long ,long distances. Weather is mostly very good for cycling in October. People are (too) friendly and very interested in travelers. Country is interesting, but tourism is not popular. Shops have some camping food. Camping is not allowed without permission, but the land is big enough to dissapear in it. Muslim culture affects a lot -bike shorts allowed but only if biking. Many (motor)bike shops all around the country (in Tabriz cycling is very popular)- bring your own tools and parts, service could be even for free. Couch surfing very difficult. Cheap. 1 star Hotel/homestay from 5-10e. 1,5l bottle of water 20cents. Eating out around 2,5-4e. Petrol is super cheap for locals. 1 EUR for 100 litres!!!!! Services are under 1 euro, though some workers don’t charge you at all. (You are their guest!) 2

(Legend: 1-Try to avoid biking in this country 2- Bike in this country for transit 3-Biking is even fun here 4-Nice landscape with good roads for biking 5-Beautiful landscape with nice people and good roads, you should definitely come here)

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3 Comments

  1. Posted November 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    thanks again, lukas,
    for this useful summary. i start to doubt though about my itinerary that will lead me all the way through georgia and azerbaijan and then south to iran along the caspian sea coastline with masuleh (world heritage!) and tehran as the major destinations. but still, since turkmenistan, uzbekistan and tajikistan are on my agenda there’s hardly a choice and consequently i will not pass through esfahan nor shiraz – which supposedly is a pity.
    keep on riding safely!
    herbert

  2. peukku
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Greetings from whole vball team tyus! That fuel prize in Iran sounds impossible?

    • Posted November 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      nope. Few years ago u used to get change from one dollar bill after filling up your tank. Tourists have to obtain a licence for petrol though, and that costs a bit.
      GO TYUS!

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