Corum – Turkey
It’s been a wet few weeks for us since Christmas and as I write this, all my clothes are soaked and the roads are covered in a smattering of snow. After spending Christmas week in Yerevan, we cycled up to Lake Sevan in Northern Armenia where we camped overnight, and beat the cold weather by lighting a big fire and making some yummy hot brandys.
After leaving Tom to make his way back to Yerevan, Fearghal and I were called off the slushy road and into a tunnel operators digs where the elderly Armenian chap tried to ply us with vodka. We managed to down a couple of shots then making a swift exit before our host made us as drunk as he was, but not before he gave us a huge supply of cakes, fruit, bread and of course, a bottle of vodka for the road.
From there made our way through the rolling mountains to the Georgian border which we passed through swiftly. Only a few km down the road, we saw a wedding taking place in a small town, and hung about outside, hoping to gate-crash the party. Sure enough, after only a couple of minutes wait, we were led inside by one of the guests and again given vodka (can you see a recurring theme here?) and grub, though we had to earn our feed, and so proceeded to amuse the other guests by dancing to the Georgian music. We’re both old hands at dancing to traditional music, having practiced in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Iran so we have our technique down to a tee.
Tbilisi, Georgian’s beautiful capital city was our next destination where we relaxed in the steamy sulphur baths to sooth our aching muscles, and gobbled up dozens of Khinkali, Georgian dumplings stuffed with mushrooms, potato or meat. It was an esy cycle to the Black Sea coast, where we delighted in seeing open water after being landlocked for many months.
On a rainy evening a week ago, we crossed over into Turkey, and haven’t had a day without rain since. We followed the Black Sea coast for the first few days, enjoying the flat smooth roads after the horrendously steep and winding roads in Armenia. We can feel Europe sneaking in faster now; seeing European trucks and having a plethora of EU products available in shops that wouldn’t look out of place at home.
We’re now on our way through the coastal mountains toward the interior of Turkey which we hope will bring dryer weather, and are looking forward to a week off in Istanbul.