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Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The Monastery was mobbed with tourists. There were cars and buses everywhere and it is a dead end road. Daniel kept going thru the mayhem and low and behold the taxi drivers waved us on to park in the shade behind one of their cars. We crammed 4 bikes into a small non-space.
    There have been people worshiping here at the spring since pre Christian times. The Monastery was founded in the 4 th century, there are inscriptions dating from 1160, and the current main church was built in 1215. It is also know as the cave monastery. The spring still flows and the faithful fill of with bottles of the holy water.

    [​IMG]Armenia-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-7 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-9 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-11 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Back down the road we detoured to Garni to see the Garni Temple.


    “It is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. It is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the former Soviet Union.

    The structure was probably built by king Tiridates I in the first century AD as a temple to the sun god Mihr. After Armenia's conversion to Christianity in the early fourth century, it was converted into a royal summer house of Khosrovidukht, the sister of Tiridates III. According to some scholars it was not a temple but a tomb and thus survived the universal destruction of pagan structures. It collapsed in a 1679 earthquake. Renewed interest in the 19th century led to excavations at the site in early and mid-20th century and its eventual reconstruction between 1969 and 1975. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Armenia and the central shrine of Armenian neopaganism."

    [​IMG]Armenia-12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-13 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-14 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The second issue of the day (will it never end) I noticed on the way down from Garni some hesitation with the gas. Initially I though bad gas or issue with fuel pump…. But it was super hot and my Beemer buddy grip pad was ? slipping ( I had not glued it on yet as I'm undecided about keeping them yet). We were in a bit of traffic and the issue seemed to be getting more frequent until the bike died. I could not restart it. Luckily i was going at least 50 and on a hill and could merge over 2 lanes to the side. Bike restarted, good gas with throttle, we took off grip pad, then off we go…no died as soon as put in first. Orvar had 1 later of gas from his stove so we put that in. Problem "solved". We had bought gas on the way to the pass and there was some issue with the pump to see the caravanserai. We wonder if there was water in the gas or the station tank was low. I have had this issue before with bad gas under 1/4 tank in Bolivia too. Lets hope this is all it it. If it is the fuel pump at least we have one with us.

    Well now it is 3 pm and 38 degrees and we have abandoned the plan to go to one more sight today and we will retreat to the hostel. The gas issue happened about 2 km from the “Villa Rosa” and I managed to get there without issue with new gas. Dan’s stator was another issue. We arrived and had great shaded parking for the bikes, but the hostel leaves a bit to be desired. The Kitchen is used by backpackers and we can not even consider sharing this space UGH! The water is boiling then freezing, but at least the rooms are clean and the wifi good.
    marior97 and SmilinJoe like this.
  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We did walk into the city center, which is all down hill for about 2 km. We stopped near the cascade for a beer and then walked down past the opera to Liberty square. This city is full of parks and these are packed with cafes and restaurants, We stopped to see the musical fountains and then found a typical Armenia place for dinner. The taxi ride home at midnight was quite expensive 10$ for 4 km.


    [​IMG]Armenia-15 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Parliament House.

    [​IMG]Armenia-16 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    There is a lot of sculpture here and even a few Boteros.

    [​IMG]Armenia-17 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    There is a lot of sculpture here and even a few Boteros.

    [​IMG]Armenia-18 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-19 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-20 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-21 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-22 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-23 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-24 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-25 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-26 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-27 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Dan was up at 630 while it was still only 25 degrees and swapped the stator out….charge 14.1! The rest of us rose after 10 and are cowering in the shade. It was obviously toasted!!!

    [​IMG]Armenia-28 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We walked into the city again about 2 and did a bit more wandering about. Had to make a stop at the famous Grand candy! We managed to sort out the metro and took that home for 100 D (30 cents). Arriving home the Swede had dinner ready for us!

    [​IMG]Armenia-30 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-31 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-29 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-32 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-33 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We awoke Monday morning to an email sent at 2 am that our actuation numbers had been issued. This means we will try for visas today.

    [​IMG]Armenia-35 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-34 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We took a taxi to the embassy for 700 D (2.40/can $) at 11 am, but they said to come back between 2 and 4. ( The hours on line say it is open 9-5, but we had read reports that the hours are really M/W/F 2-4 and yes it is). Taxi back 800D to the hostel. Taxi back to the embassy 1000D. We arrived at 145 and rang the bell at 2 “go around to the left door”. We were met by a very friendly man, passed thru the beeping metal detector, and “took a ticket” even though we were the only ones there. Trevor went first and after 20 minutes the very nice lady told us that yes these were valid Visa grants, but our names were not on the printed list she had. “come back on Wednesday. Later we found that everyone who was issued a number that day had the same issue.
    marior97 likes this.
  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We had last night already booked an apartment for Monday night to Wednesday since we did not think we would hear from Tehran. We were prepared to eat the fee and just go south today, but we are happy now to have a place. It is 3 pm and 34 degrees. The apartment we rented had GPS coords and the pin on Bookings was in that spot. The apartment however was not. The street address name is the same as the neighbourhood name. 4 different people we asked had no idea where #17 is. After driving around for 30 min we stopped and asked a taxi driver to call for us. Even with instructions this guys drove in circles for 30 minutes until he made a second call and the renter met us up the road. The renter was a bit of a jerk and refused to admit his address and GPS on booking are incorrect. The place is 3 streets over to the east. These “streets” are steep and narrow. That said it was a very nice place.


    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 17.56.04 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We settled and and Trevor went shopping for beer and made us Indian food. The first thing we did was get all the suits in the washing machine! This is time consuming since the cycles are so long!

    [​IMG]Armenia-36 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-37 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Yerevan-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Yerevan-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    Just after 2100 a huge black cloud rolled in and it started pouring. Then we heard this incredible noise and that was a huge wave of hail the side of walnuts.

    [​IMG]IMG_8759 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_8761 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    marior97 and SavannahCapt like this.
  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    When we came out to the bikes at the apartment this morning there was a card from a local moto shop put there by a friend of the owner. Moto Shop Armenia. You will not find them on a google search for shops or service. On map.me they come up as an apparel shop. They do have a FB page. They offer service and sales of gear and oil. They had Motul chain lube and so we were all very happy.

    Today is a hurry up and wait day we had big plans to go 25 km to the Church built in 301 AD. But as the day got hotter we got lazier.
    Dan and Orvar had been given the name of a tour company here in Yerevan that might have tires. Thanks Trevor Angel for the lead. Orvar wants to put on a street tire to save the Heidenau tread. They have a tour company, but have a full service centre, shop, and tire service. Dreamriders Armenia.

    [​IMG]Dream Riders Armenia by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Meanwhile Sara walked 2 km in the heat to find groceries for a pork dinner before we go to Iran!!
    [​IMG]Armenia-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Well after another 2 days of waiting here in Yerevan tensions are running high. Orvar has waited for us long enough and he is headed south today so at least he can see something of this country. He will ride to Tatev and visit the Monastery in the morning.

    The 3 Canadian rode up to Moto Shop, which is 3 blocks from the embassy and they were kind enough to let us leave our gear inside and they covered the bikes up to shade them for the 36 degree heat. This way we could be more respectable to go to the Iran Embassy.

    [​IMG]Armenia-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We made sure we were there early as we needed to be first if there was any chance to get the visas today. From the number of people who where there Monday we could not change it. We were first and the nice lady recognized us from the last time. She processed the papers and then said “ the consul is not in today, they are only open m/w//f 2-4, this Friday is a holiday so …Monday 5 more days for pick up!! AGH!! Then she said if we could get to the bank today and return she would see what she could do. OK RUN! Outside we rushed 1 block up to the main road a flagged a cab. he knew where the “Iran bank” was and agreed to take us pronto, wait, and return. We got in at 1424 and had to go across the city to the bank. Arriving there we took a number, but there was a dozen people waiting. We had some good fortune as the “cash payments” teller then arrived back form lunch and served us right away.

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-26 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We were back in the cab headed north at 1451 and back at he embassy to get a number at 1510. Big tip for the cabbie! She was surprised how fast we were, made a call, and said the consul agreed to do the visas and we could pick them up in the morning even though the visa office for foreigners is not open on Thursdays, It is closed this week on Friday for a holiday and then is not open again until Monday! She said to come at 11. That will be a week later that we planned. Hallelujah! That will mean a very big day for us tomorrow 10 hours riding (plus the border) to Tabriz, Iran to keep to are very truncated and adjusted schedule that has gone from 20 days to 14. We sent a message to Orvar that we would meet him the border and to the guide that we were finally coming.
    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-23 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-24 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    marior97 and thwak like this.
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We had found a hotel also on the park and walked over to check in before going back to the Moto shop for the bikes. It was a fantastic evening and we went for a long walk. The streets were packed with people. We stopped in for a little “Greek” fast food.

    [​IMG]Yerevan-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Yerevan-7 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Yerevan-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Yerevan-5 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Yerevan-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    Tradition bread baked in a clay oven

    [​IMG]Yerevan-9 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Yerevan-10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    marior97, SmilinJoe and MaNDan like this.
  12. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
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    Location:
    Macedonia, Ohio
    You folks must be the very patient type. I'd lose my mind dealing with all of that red tape, etc.
    Great report. I'll be following along.
    Saralou likes this.
  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We had no choice, but nearly lost our minds the next day when their printer broke at the embassy and we only had 2 visas! I admit I actually burst into tears when she told me that. The weeks of stress broke me. At least we had liquor! Sara
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  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We were all up early the stress is really been rough. We walked over to the grocery store to stock up so we could make only gas and WC stops today. Sara went over to get the passports at 10 15 when the office opened. The guard made a call and said come back at 2-4! I said but she said come at 11… So he said then come at 11! At 11 i arrived and took a number 40 minutes later the same women came out and called me to the desk. She said I only have 2 visas and the computer is not working. She said wait another 20 minutes until she leaves for lunch to see if it is working. Trevor and I had visas, but Daniel did not. At 12 she said there was no luck and I lost it and started to bawl from the 2 weeks of stress, all the set backs, the possibility of having to go to Azerbaijan and get the “ferry” from Baku, being so close, now having to wait 4 more days in Armenia and have basically just enough time to transit Iran I had finally had it. That must have done the trick as when I asked if I could come again at 2 she agreed. Messages sent again to update everyone of the delay.

    Going out to tell the guys was no fun. They were all packed and ready. Well at least there is a good cafe with wifi in the park outside the embassy. At 2 I went to the embassy and rang the front door bell (the visa office is on the left side). The person who answered said “ the visa office is closed come back on Monday!” Trying to keep calm I said “ I am the Canadian for the visa and was told to come at 2” and I was directed to the side door. Eventually the guard opened it after 220 and he let me in. I took a seat and waited just after 230 one of the embassy staff showed up with Dan’s passport with a visa. YEAH. Now we are finally ready to get out of here. Update everyone again on the new ETA.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 15.57.04 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 16.05.06 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Riding out of town you head for Mount Ararat, but today it was in the clouds.
    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    The ride south on the M2 was thru desert and up into the hills. The road surface is very rough 90% of the way.

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Armenia-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    We went thru several rocky canyons and up over 3 passes on the switchbacks.

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-5 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    marior97, SavannahCapt and MaNDan like this.
  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The road then heads east to the border of Azerbaijan and then south.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 16.04.25 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-11 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Our first Iran plate!

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    The road is actually in Azerbaijan at the rock tunnel.

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-13 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The riding today over the passes was so great and the scenery beautiful its too bad we could not stop more. We did stop twice between 230 and 9. Once for a cold drink and once for gas and to eat or lunch at 6 pm.
    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-14 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-15 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-16 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-17 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-18 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-19 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We arrived to the border at dark and there is no signage. There is a gate that looks like the entry to Armenia from Iran, but it is actually the exit as well. Here you hand over you passport, which they look at and then send you on another 500 m.

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-21 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Again there is no signage, but you come to a large building and the exit is on the right. Pull past the booths and park. Then you go inside to the customs office with your passport and TVIP, which they stamp and sign. The agent then comes out, takes your TVIP and checks your plate number. You are then directed to the gate. Here the agent Opens the gate and asks to see your passport and checks the photo (with a flashlight). Here they send you another 400 m to a small shack. They want to see your passport, vehicle registration, and Armenian visa to get your exit stamp. All was going well until Daniel’s turn when they found that the Iran embassy had stuck the Iran visa onto the Armenia entry stamp. It is a faint yellow colour nearly impossible to see. They could see part of it. The officer and Dan walked back the 500 m to the first office to discuss the issue. 20 minutes later he was back and they decided to let him go once they checked the bike. Getting out of Armenia moderate challenge and took almost an hour so its 10 pm except its 1030 pm in Iran.
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    There is no lighting at all on the Armenian side, but once you cross “the border bridge to Iran” it is all lit up. Just after the bridge is the police check. They look at your passport and then tell you to walk 100 m up to the office where a second officer looks at your passport. He sends you into passport control. Here we also met up with Reza our compulsory guide for the next 2 weeks. He said he did not see Orvar at the border earlier, but he thinks he passed him on the road.

    We finally got a passport stamp and headed back to Police officer #2 and he checked the stamp and directs you back to the bikes and to ride thru the gate “pointing somewhere over there”. You ride about 300 m and past the decontamination chamber and a guard waved us to stop. They were very friendly here and helpful. The customs officer asked for our passports and Carnet de Passage and he entered these in the computer. He walked us over to the boss to discuss the Carnets’ The boss said immediately “ you are the 3 fiends of Orvar”! They did the paperwork very quickly and then wanted photos. They did not look at any of the luggage and only ask if we had any liquor. I said “ of course not we are in Iran” big laughs.

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-27 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Now to get some money since we can not access currency inside Iran. The rate here was very favorable and for 200 USD we got over 7.6 million Rials. One last stop for a passport check at the exit gate.

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-28 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It is now 1130 pm and we have 255 km to go to get to Tabriz. Most of the way is on a narrow windy road, but it is in good condition. Still a challenge at midnight after such a long day.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 15.57.04 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 18.19.53 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr



    We stopped 35 km from Jolfa for something to eat, but this turned out to be 4 whole grilled fish!

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 18.06.17 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    About 1 am we are eating and messaged Orvar to see where he is… Jolfa. We asked him to get up and we will pick him up in an hour….no reply. We figured he read the mail and then said no way and went to bed. So when we dropped by his hotel just of the road we were very surprised that there was the bike all packed up. Now we are 4 tired bikers and the guide in his car at 200 am. We still have 2 hours to the hotel in Tabriz. 30 km from the city we finally found an open fuel station to fill up before one of us ran out of gas.

    [​IMG]Border to Tabriz-29 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr