Armenia…Not sure what to expect…The unexpected?

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We were busy at the moto shop with the shock and Trevor and Orvar had taken a day ride up to the battle of Didgori  monument and then they planned to leave for Armenia, but checking there spot they were not back to the hotel yet.

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Photo credit Trevor

Video credit Orvar

We messaged them and they came by the shop and we now could all head south together. We left the shop at 230 and rode south.

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We stopped about 25 km from the boarder to have one of the best meals we have had in a long time at a small roadside place.

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The border was very civilized and there were very few other vehicles. The first step is to get your exit  stamp from Georgia. The agent wants your passport and bike registration.

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Next you ride about 1 km to the Armenian border. Here the agent wants your passport and registration and you have to remove your helmet for ID.

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Now you ride 200 m to the customs parking. here we were met by the insurance agent who spoke English and directed us where to go. This was nice sine the border guy never told us we even had to go to customs. In customs they also want the passport and registration and fill in a TVIP. This seems a bit stupid, since I checked the VIN on Dan’s , which was correct, but when I said mine had 1 number worn the guy said “ it’s not a problem” and would not fix it….Trevor was last and funny thing was he did not even type in his VIN on the form! Useless paperwork.

Now you check out at the police gate and ride over to the insurance office. It is valid for 10 days and cost 35$US.

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Its now getting late in the day at almost 5 and we have 154 km and 2 1/2 hours to go to get to Sevan. We decided to just see how far we could get and stop at the first decent place. We did make a directional mistake just after the border when the GPS’s did not agree on the direction. The correct one was go left to Noyemberyan, but we went right.

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This was going well on the paved  M6  that goes along the deep valley floor until after about 10 km of dirt and construction when a back hoe driver flagged us down to say the road to Sevan was blocked this way. He did mark the way point on the GPS for the town where the detour ends and we headed there. This was a back track to a switch back road up the wall of the canyon.

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We finally arrived to Stepanavan at 830 pm. This is a biggish town and we made for a hotel listed in the GPS. It was ok, not cheap especially by Armenian standards and a bit Bates like. There was however great parking and a very good restaurant 2 blocks away.

We have a very short 124 km ride today to Sevan on the lake.

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The road is pretty patched and totally under construction in the town of Vandzor (which looks a bit post apocalyptic).

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Shortly after here you head into Dilijan National park.

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On the way there we came across a Dutch couple having coffee with a view. We had actually seen them at the Turkish border (second crossing).

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We stopped in Dilijan at a very modern cafe run by university students for coffee and apple cake.

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The cabin we had rented for the next 2-3  nights is just past Seven and on the lake for 10 euros each a night including breakfast.

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The early day meant we had time for some bike maintenance, laundry , and RR catch up. The GS 911 says that the 800’s charging is not perfect. We swapped out the regulator and no change. Later we started the bike and the voltage meter still showed 13.9 -14, but riding at speed it was up to 14.2. Next we will swap the batteries to see if that is the issue. It is more likely since the stator has only 30,000 km.

This is a bit of a strange spot. They have 3 tethered Reindeer, an airplane, and a tank on the lawn.

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We went for a day ride unloaded today south along the lake and then up the Vardenyats Mountain Pass.

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Orbelian's Caravanserai

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One the way we noted a side dirt road up into the grasslands and went for a small detour up into the hills.

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We will also today visit Orbelian’s Caravanserai.

 

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“It was built in 1332, by prince Chesar Orbelian to accommodate weary travelers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, the mountainous Vayots Dzor region. Located at the southern side of the pass at a height of 2410 meters above sea level, it is the best preserved caravanserai in the country.”

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The ride down the pass on the switchbacks is very nice.

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We passed the a funeral and all of us noted there was not a single woman present.

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The next small village had 2 shops that sold exactly the same things. There was a group of older gentleman there who were quite interested in us. One of them spoke German and so Orvar could speak with him. He was so happy to be asked for a photo and pulled his medals out of a bag in his pocket for the picture.

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Just at the top of the pass we met another Czech rider headed to Iran with a transit visa for 4 days of riding.

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We stopped about half way back for some kebab for lunch and bought groceries to make dinner.

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Orvar’s video of the trip so far!!

Another Kebab “express”

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4 Responses to Armenia…Not sure what to expect…The unexpected?

  1. Howard Millichap says:

    14v charging is fine. I wouldn’t worry.

    • Daniel says:

      It’s not the 14 its the steady dropping. It was 13 if the fan came on. We swapped out the stator and now working perfectly.

  2. Debora Davis says:

    Fascinating trip. Great pictures. Will be going to Armenia in September 2017.

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