On 26th of may I departed on a voyage. With a newly minted masters degree in Geophysics I didn’t feel like having a job straight away, working 40 hours a week and spending 21 days a year on some beach on a mediterranean island. Instead I sought for the cure of something that is best described with the german word Fernweh. So I strapped some luggage on the back of my motorcycle and left Germany with nothing but some money and an Iranian visa in my pocket. I didn’t plan, didn’t know which roads I’m going to take, in which places I would pitch my tent and most importantly I didn’t have a schedule.
I didn’t come to Thessaloniki to act as a tourist, instead I had some serious business to do. Since that crash in Gradiste almost 3 weeks ago, I was riding with a hole in my panniers and a broken right handguard. I planned to fix that, and for once fate was on my side.
It all started approximately 20 million years ago with intense volcanic activity. The region of Cappadokia was covered in immense amounts of volcanic ash, over millenia the ash was compacted to tuff, a soft and crumbly rock. Since then erosion created this bizarre landscape with its winding valleys and stone pillars, called fairy chimneys.
Today, I had a mountain range to cross. In between me and the Caspian Sea were the Alborz Mountains. With peaks exceeding 4000 m (Mt. Damavand being the highest with 5670 m) and a pass road that climbs up to 2200 m it divides the region in two distinctively different kinds of vegetation.
In Bushehr I decided to move on and leave Iran, but Persia wouldn’t let me go without a bang. To travel from the Persian Gulf to Armenia, I had to ride 1500 km, crossing all of Iran from South to North, thereby traversing its hottest regions, the Khuzestan plains in southwestern Iran
Beyond the Seven Mountains, with the seven dwarves there dwells a beauty or so the tale goes. But no beauty like you might think now, deep in the Caucasian mountains, surrounded by 4000 m peaks lies the hidden valley of Tusheti with a landscape worthy of a fairy tale.
Nothing much to tell about the sea passage from Batumi to Odessa, lots of time on my hand and not much to do except eating, sleeping and to catch up on diary writing. Time aboard was two and a half days, but the passage itself took only one and a half, the rest of the time consisted of waiting; for 20 hours the ferry lay off the port because the landing was occupied and 5 hours for customs.