7 month and almost 7000 kilometers rolling on the wheels

A tourist alley in Tbilisi
A tourist alley in Tbilisi

The air is still fresh, a cool breeze runs through the old walls and leaves seductive scents in the cracks. The streets are suddenly animated, motley life provides for a promising future and the heads of the people are suddenly alive again.




Finally, it's time! It is our last day in Tbilisi. After more than 3 weeks "hanging around" we will swing back onto the saddle and drive towards Azerbaijan. Pity you can not hear the inner jubilation concert, it's terrific ;) -



Udabno as we arrived
Udabno as we arrived


What happend lately:

Fortunatly we could leave our steelhorses at the "like hostel of courteous Pavel and Christina, so we started a short backpack tour.
The Metro took us to the busstation in Tbilisi and foolishly Cécile drunk so much tea during breakfast, so she urgently had to go to the toilet before entering the bus to Sagaredscho. -Usually on the bike it wasn't a problem to empty the bladder, we just stopped somewhere-
Ofcourse the busstation had a toilet but you can't imagine how surprised I was because I had to pay 50 tetry for a disgusting hole where I had too pee in. At least there were 4 such holes and on each one was cowering a woman. Oh yes, ofcourse there were walls between us, but they were just as high as our knees. -I'm very glad that I'm not shy-

As we arrived in Sagaredscho we had to take a Taxi to Udabno, where we wanted to stay for the night.
As we arrived there, the liitle "village" was completely shrouded by fog. We grouped on muddy roads where cows and dogs stood arround and finally found a guesthouse. In the cosy warm living room the family served us nice food. It was a bit strange, eating there while the family was living their live as usual.

Unfortunately our sleeping room was as cold as a freezer and no water run out of the tab in the bathroom. Luckyli we had our cozy sleeping bags.
But by that night we caught a very bad cold.

Nevertheless we went for a long hike to the Monastery of David Garedja.

In a guesthouse livingroom
In a guesthouse livingroom

So we eventually reached the church of David Gareja and enjoyed the imposing view to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

In consideration of our state of health Percy had then brought Cécile to reason, so we renounced a romantic outdoor night and hiked on the road back to Udabno, in the hope of a vehicle would then take us to 60 km away village Sagaredscho. In fact, after 2 hours, shortly after sunset, a vehicle passed by in this deserted area, a shepherd in his jeep took us the last 5 kilometers to Udabno.

It was already dark and there was no alternative for us, Percy absolutly wanted to spend this night in Sagarejo, in a warm room with a clean bed.

The innkeepers of the guesthouse had offered us in the morning the transport service, so we knocked a little embarrassed again at their door and asked for the trip to the next village. After the host has finished milking and our stomaches were full with beenmash they braught us to a hotel in Sagaredscho.

At least there was a heater, but the room wasen't any warmer, because all the other rooms were freezing cold anyway. To our runny noses we had no chance to recover, wrapped up in our sleepingbags, we were hoping things will get better soon...

When we thought we were fit again, we lined up to get to Sighnagi, the cradle of good wine. Unfortunately, we could not decipher the destinations in Georgian on the Maschutkas (minibuses) and waited an eternity until a driver took us along. -The impatient Cécile was already longing for her steelhorse, the practical and independent means of transport.

At least we found a Maschutka Driver who took us with him to Shignagi or at least in this direction. As we later noticed when getting out, the driver had already organized a taxi waiting for us at the junction to drive us up the mountain to Shignagi for a confusingly low price.

Arrived in Shignaghi, he then showed us the guesthouse of his "friend". Well, that looked quite passable and the price seemed reasonable. When we agreed, the landlady asked us for an advance payment of 10 Lari, so she can pay the comisson to the taxi driver. Now we had the answer to the question about the low fare...

There we stayed again in the sympathetic Like Hostel with Christina and Pavel, who hoarded our steelhorses.

Then we moved into an apartment in the old town and Hans and Eva (Percy's parents) came to visit us, heavy laden with chocolate, great gifts for us and our steelhorses and of course stories from the homeland.

Crossing Boundaries - It's that easy!

"It's so easy! No problem for you, even with bycicle!" It was said at the Iranian Embassy in Tbilisi.
The diligent Cécile had then also filled out the electronic visa forms and the reference numbers were delivered to us in no time. After five days they should be checked and we could go to the embassy to get the visa stamp.

Well so easy and yet so hard .... because I'm once again subverted a terrible and incredibly embarrassing mistake .... in Percy's form I entered the wrong place of issue, instead of Tbilisi, there was Islamabad in Pakistan OHWEIA! Yeah shit happens, you can exclaim loudly... Haha!

In any case, Cécile has learned that with a little effort she can somehow "iron out" any mistake.
Unfortunately not in this case, oh it would have been so easy!
In the meantime, I have actually received Iran visa even for a stay of two months.
As we talk on the phone and embark on a mission to adjust the mistake, we're simply bumping into iron walls.
On the official E-visa homepage there are four phone numbers and an e-mail address which are offered as auxiliary services.

Immediately when we discovered the mistake, all sorts of measures were taken. During the first phone call, I was told to report to the Embassy in Tbilisi because they could not do anything.
In Tbilisi we were then told to call in Islamabad, they had no access to the online form. -You can already guess the end of the lyre, yes? -

The embassies are really hard to reach! We spent whole mornings with it to finally have a person on the phone who could give us information.

Incidentally, the mails were never answered, you have no chance to get any information, what a miserable condition! It remains only the hope and wait, really corrosive! It will forgive you no mistake.

When we finally found a contact person in Islamabad, he told us that Percy must go to the embassy in Tbilisi and he must call the embassy Islamabad, as they do not know Percy. But he did not want to announce his name.
"They know the process, it's so easy, Mr. Weibel" was the the reason instead.

Anyway, Percy had no luck at the embassy in Tbilisi, because the ambassador could not reach Islamabad and had no interest in doing anything. "It's your passport, you have to do it." Indeed the good sir, he was not wrong, but the ambassador of Islamabad disagreed ...

When we tried to explain the problem in Islamabad, we fell on deaf ears and finally the ambassador was somehow annoyed and had simply cut the line, because Percy said it's "stupid" beeing sent each day from one embassy to the next and back again so many times.

When we tried to explain the plight to the embassy in Tbilisi again, they did not want to hear anything, the answer was: "we do not put our nose in this buisness, please do not call again!" 
Hmm ... well then. The desire to travel to this country had passed us already.

Maybe then we'll be more fortunate in Baku and can resubmit the visa if the current form is deleted. Of course, we do not know what exactly happens with it.

Instead, the visa application for Azerbaijan went very quickly. No sooner had we filled out the online form and paid the fee, we had the visa in our mailbox the next day. Although the e-visa delivery could take up to 3 working days, we received it in within less than twelve hours. 

That was easy! :)
Steelhorse Service
Steelhorse Service

So the steelhorses have now new cloaks, are sparkling cleaned and top "groomed".

Only Cécile had to vent her rear brake, since it no longer worked strong enough.

We are ready for the next 10'000 km through the "Middle Kingdom" to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors of ancient history, when silk, paper, ideas and other treasures were carried from east to west ...

We will travel to Baku through Azerbaijan and make another visa application round there. If Percy will get his Iran visa there, we will follow the Silk Road, through the former Persia, then whiz through Turkmenistan (if they let us) and roll from there to Uzbekistan, then pedal to Tajikistan on the Pamir Highway... -well that's just a plan...

However, if Iran does not work, we will probably take the ferry from Baku to Aqtau and then drive via Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan ... let's see what else we will encounter there ...

Kommentar schreiben

Kommentare: 1
  • #1

    Michael (Dienstag, 27 März 2018 21:34)

    Hey Percy

    Das ist ja hammerstark, was Ihr da so erlebt und an Eindrücken auch beschreibt. Euer Blog ist echt spannend und man kann Eure Abenteuer richtig ein Stück weit miterleben. Super geschrieben und genial bebildert! Das ist echt eine Reise fürs Leben.
    Be and stay blessed!
    Herzliche Grüsse aus Kreuzlingen, Bro Michael und Familie :-)