Will we be riding across Iran :) or Taking the dreaded “ferry” across the Caspian :(

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Well first man down Trevor has been fighting a cold for a few days. Since it is Friday and we have no news yet from Tehran we decided on another day at the lake to laze about.

Dan’s voltage meter has been below 14.1 for the last few days. He put on the 911 and charging is not optimal. We swapped out the regulator and then the batteries and still looks like the stator. Drag as this one has only 30,000 km. Lucky as we have 2 with us.

We decided to see how it went on the ride out today to Yerevan.  It started out at 14.1 and was good all day until the traffic in the capital, it was 39 degrees, and the fan kicked in then it was 12.5.

We rode out from Lake Sevan and noted the heavy police presence here. There are speed traps everywhere.

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Just before the capital we took a detour up to the monastery in Geghard. On the way there is a great view of Mount Ararat.

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The Monastary 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.

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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.”

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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.

Back to my other issue the speed sensor. We have arranged for a friend in Athens to buy it and ship it to our contact in Tashkent Uzbekistan. We also had an offer from some fellow Canadian’s who are waiting in Greece for parts to bring it, but we will miss each other my a week in Turkmenistan.
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 however and needs to be replaced. 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.

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.

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Parliament House.

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

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Dan was up at 630 while it was still only 25 degrees and swapped the stator out. It was obviously toast. Bike started ….charge 14.1! The rest of us rose after 10 and are cowering in the shade.

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

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 neighborhood 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 and definitely not on Verin Antatain street! These “streets” are steep and narrow. That said it was a very nice place.

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We settled and and Trevor  went shopping for beer and made us Indian food.

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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.

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Still waiting for visas. The tensions are running high here. The Swede has decided to go south on Wednesday as he has already waited a week for us and he does not even need a guide in Iran like Canadians. Now for killing time and stress!!!

 

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