What’s going on? Our story with the Iranian 👮

What was planned to set up camp at a lake and maybe a bit of off-road driving at lake Namak, northeast from Tehran turned out to be one of these stories only travelling will bring to you.

Once we found the road leading to lake Namak, we took it, drove through some deserted villages and finally on a straight road through sandy area. The sings at the beginning of the last part written in Persian didn’t mean anything to us. Nice riding, however just straight, an industrial building showed up at the horizon, we kept driving and once reaching it, all of a sudden a pick up truck blocked the road and 3 guys jumped out of the car talking fazi, checking our bikes and gps… we didn’t know what’s going on. Thinking of we might being robbed Beate decided to pass the guys and Daniel followed. Hence Pawel and Jendrik still with the guys talking and yelling, nothing serious after a few discussions and finally we understood that the road is closed and we have to turn around. Also Daniel and Beate understood, Jendrik had the police on the phone, they again told us the road was closed and we all turned around as being told so even though keen to get to know what would have come up behind the block…

We though that’s it… it wasn’t. After a break in the next village to figure out a place to sleep we decided to go to a hotel in Quom for the night instead sleeping at the lake and take the 300km detour. We drove off, stopped again for some water, all of a sudden a guy showed up and took pictures off us and our bikes. Pretty common I have to say but it was different this time. No selfies, no laughs, just pictures. He didn’t want to let Jendrik drive off but he went anyways. Driving for a few minutes we saw in the rear mirrors a car coming to us very quick and trying to make us stop… blocking the road, both indicators on. Starting again, trying to make us stop. We managed to get around for a while but at some point he had Jendrik blocked on the side of the road and got out of the car. Jendrik started to drive off again, the guy tried to pull out the key from his motorbike due to that Jendrik almost crashed. Why all that?

The guy didn’t speak a word England but demanded us all the time to stop and showed some weird looking ID. His friend or colleague at one intersection got out of the car and run to some cops on scooters. We drove off. No cops behind but still the guy, indicators on in his silver Peugeot Pars.

We all managed to drive away, he realized he wouldn’t get us and was just following us closely. Driving for about half an hour, not knowing what was going on, we finally found the hotel in Qom – one of the religious capitals in Iran. We all stopped in front of, the guy came to us but we denied to do anything until the police arrives.

Like usual many people came to us, taking pictures and finally also the police arrived. We still had no clue what was going on. Daniel went to reserve a room, coming back from the hotel lobby he saw at least 10 police men standing around us, also with this guy who followed us. Finally a serious looking police guy approached us and wanted to see our passport and insurance. After a bit of discussion we handed over our passports and obviously all our documents are ok. Even though we handed out random papers as „insurance“ for our motorbikes.

The police men told us to park the bikes in the garage and go to the hotel. We thought everything was done. Quite released, still hungry we went to our room, getting ready for dinner.

What was it? What did we do? Why did he follow us? No clue.

After having set in the room somebody knocks the door of our room. A police men with two guys from Irak – as translator – were standing in front and asked us to go the police station because the police has some questions. Why? We refused. He insisted that we have to go, we insisted we haven’t done anything wrong, want to eat and take a shower. We also invited the police man to ask the questions right away. Discussions… We finally agreed we will get 5 minutes to take a shower, he promised that it won’t take longer than 20 minutes at the police station and there is no problem – why should we go then?

Finally he asked us for our cameras. We agreed that we would keep our cameras in hands, and he can see that we don’t do anything with it, in the meantime we take a shower. So we did.

Daniel and Jendrik were ready to go with their cameras and the police guy to the police station. Suddenly also Beate and Pawel should come too. That wasn’t the deal we interfered. Again discussion. Talking to the police men we finally ended up all together in a police car with 2 cameras and a young police guy, driving crazy with sirens on, through Quom, to the police station. He wasn’t driving, he was flying. Scariest drive ever for all of us.

Having arrived at the station we were asked to sit down, don’t use our mobile phones and wait for what will happen. We also met back the guy who was following us and his young fellow smiling at us. We didn’t think it’s too funny…

All the police guys and the guy went to a room leaving us with waiting. What’s going on? We sat there. An hour or so had passed, we still sat there a young guy approach us to help translating. Didn’t help a lot as neither he would know what’s going on. Feeling a bit worried we now insisted to call the German embassy. Firstly they wouldn’t let us call, we insisted and got handed over a phone to contact the embassy which promptly reacted and called back a few minutes later to talk to the police. Actually without any results. It seemed nobody, neither us, the police, the guy nor the translator would know why we are here. By the way: still having the two cameras with us…

Another half hour passed, the embassy called again, talked to some people – no results. We insisted we got promised it would take only 20 minutes. Now 2 hours had passed. Finally we got called into the police boss office, a special agent came with us and we sat there. Again asking what was going on. Another call from the embassy – no results. Sitting there, we finally were asked to hand out our passports. Talking, discussions in fazi… what’s going on?

Our passports numbers were noted down, handwritten on a piece of paper. Wrong by the way, ok for us. What’s now? Nobody seemed to know. By now it was almost midnight and we still didn’t eat. We decided to just leave the room and pushing to let us go. After almost 3 hours finally they told us we were good to go.

Wait, what? What a show… we were told now that the guy who followed us would be arrested, they were embarrassed we had to come to the police and they will bring us now to back to the hotel. But why did we sit for 3 hours? We still don’t know.

Again back in the police car, again sirene on and even the special agent escorted us on his motorbike back to the hotel. By the way: Daniel still with the 2 cameras in his hands, nobody wanted to see these in the end.

The whole „thing“ cost us 4 hours. We called back to the German embassy everything is fine, had dinner end went to bed hoping it’s over. And it was.

Now we are kind of laughing about the whole story but there had been times we we were a bit worried. Not the nicest feeling being chased through a city by a random guy, being in a police station, not understanding the language, not knowing what is going on. Why did it all happen? Still no clue.

Props to the German embassy in Teheran which was on hold for us, trying to help. Felt good to have some support in this situation.

Our night in Qom the 2nd holiest City in Iran. We left very early the next morning…

Actually met a few other Iranian police during our trip, all were super friendly and helpful we have to say some just asked for a picture.

Driving around in Iran

Waking up the next morning in Mansuleh we found out we slept on the walkway of the cows who belong to an old lady and we would have to leave this place soon so the cows could travel trough… We rushed our stuff together to head further east. All our gear and bikes where heavily dirty from the rough trip through the clouds the evening before.

We left the place and had breakfast together with Beate and Pawel. So nice they had coffee and a stow to heat up water since our is gone. Enjoying a good meal and nice talking we decided to change our plan from going to the Caspian Sea – instead we joined the couple to go to the mountains and for some off-road driving. Gooood choice!

We were trying to reach a castle in the mountains via side roads and enjoyed nice off road riding and on paved roads. A lake appeared and we decided to stay all together another night at lake Zanian instead and head to the castle the next day.

Refreshed from a dip – actually something special in Iran as usually swimming is forbidden in still waters – into the water we took off to go to the castle via tiny roads which didn’t appear on google maps or navigation but Pawel had marked the way on his map. What an adventure. No road really, just gravel and sand, big stones in the way and deep valley ahead. It was a challenge but definitely worth it. So much fun. However we didn’t make it to the castle in the end as the roads just got more rough with some deep mud pudels. We kept driving until reaching normal roads again but now it would be have been a big detour to see the castle… we could see it far away on top of a mountain.

Everybody was happy anyways!

The ride was a bit tiring and so we decided to have lunch/dinner and look for a good sleep in a hotel. Typical kebab and rice, yogurt and some greens.

We stayed for the night in Quezvin. As we have had so many laughs and fun on the road, again all 4 of us decided to keep going together and were off to see the Namak lake to set up our tent and stay for the night. The driving was pretty much straight forward until we reached the road leading to the lake… at least we thought we did, what followed was meeting the Iranian special police and is worth a story for itself. To be continued.

Lots of surprises…

Surprisingly the streets behind the border to the next major city Marand were in perfect conditions and the tires we just changed to more off-road suitable profile seemed too be the wrong choice. But let’s see what we’ll be faced with in more remote areas. Marand appeared on the map to be a perfect city to stop by for a chai, coffee and breakfast. We parked our bikes on the sidewalk close to a bakery. Before we took off our helmets, people started to watch, stop and talk to us. Here is an example of a typical conversation we gonna be performing many many times during our Iran travels:

Iranian: Hello
We: Salam
Iranian: How are you?
We: Good, how are you?
Iranian: Where are you from?
We: Germany! Alman.
Iranian: Ohhhh, Germany, good, good!
We: Iran, good!
Iranian: Motorbike, BMW?
We: Yes, BMW!
Iranian: Ahhhh, good, good, How much?
We: Old bike, old bike. 1500 dollars…
Iranian: Mhhh, take picture?
We: Of course
Iranian: Iran good?
We: Iran, good, Iranian people very good.

One of the guys, Amir, who stopped by advised us to stay for 5 minutes, he would go to get some tea. In the meantime cars stopped, people got of and asked if we needed help or anything else. Amir came back with \na thermos of chai, walnuts, sugar, plus the fresh bread we bought from the bakery. That was our breakfast 🙂

Mahmut, the only guy with a decent English, signaled to help us getting a SIM card for our mobiles. On the motorbikes we followed him on his bicycle through one way streets and over sidewalks straight to a shop. They managed to get us two SIM cards with enough data for our time in Iran and it cost us 5 dollars. In every country it was possible to buy a data SIM card for small money and loads of data so far. Why are prices in Germany ridiculously high and coverage even in major cities is sometimes very poor?
We were asked more than one time if we’d like to stay at somebody’s house our at least have lunch. We denied and insisted to go to Tabriz to stay in a hotel to rest properly after the exhausting days behind us. Hard work not to accept and lots of appreciation to the people for the kindness and hospitality at the same time. Some detours in Tabriz city lead us to Azerbaijan Hotel were we aimed for some recovery time and a first impression of a major Iranian city and the climate. It is hot and as a natural reflex Jendrik put on a shorts to bring some clothes to the laundry service across the street. 3 minutes later he came back, the dirty clothes still in his hand and a scary look on his face. NOBODY wears shorts in Iran, even when it’s 60 degrees. People just won’t respect you and they showed Jendrik in a very dismissive manner. Lesson learned, we better do our homework before getting to another country. Tabriz is a vibrant city and really comes alive after dark. Too late for us. Totally knackered from all the action of the last 24 hours we had a dreamless night. Almost recharged, the first visit of a bazaar was mandatory.

We didn’t buy anything but relished the noise, the smell, the people and the diversity of the products. We watched out for a breakfast, as we didn’t make it in time to the hotel buffet and bumped into an English speaking guy from the tourist office who brought us to a breakfast place. We painted a picture of bread, scrambled egg, jam, cheese and a coffee. We got kebab, rice, Lavash (very thin bread) and tomato soup. No problem, it was more than enough. Next thing he talked about were the beautiful hot springs in Sareyn, 230 kilometers northwest of Tabriz. We painted a picture of hot springs evolving from small pools were you take a dip and relax in the sun. The perfect thing for us. Guess what happened…

The curiosity of people in Marand was surprising and overwhelming. What happened in Sareyn was not comparable with that. The first stretch of the most villages or small cities is usually designed as a camp ground/picnic area and are heavily used by Iranian tourists. Very heavy in Sareyn and we stopped right in front of this area…

As we got further into town we realized that this had nothing to do with a cosy and intimate atmosphere what we expected. Instead it was the number one holiday destination for Iranians and the city center looked like Las Vegas Strip with all its neon lights. The hot springs turned out to be, what we call Spa or public swimming baths. Not really what we wanted but still relaxing. The first time in Iran, we didn’t feel „different“. Iranians do wear swimming shorts and some even have tattoos. Women were in a separate bath, though.
Next thing on our agenda was to focus on motorbiking a little bit more, to get in the direction of the Caspian Sea and planned our route accordingly. As we passed a small village around lunchtime, Jendrik shouted suddenly. The reason was a BMW 650 GS same bike he sits on parked besides the road. The rest is easily told. Pawel and Beate from Aachen are in Iran with their bikes, started in Bulgaria, drove through Turkey and admitted to be off-road junkies. Good for us as we looked for some fun riding as well and we decided to continue side by side. Pawel already logged a route which seems to go on remote and small routes, maybe even unpaved. And he nailed it. We witnessed a magnificent spectacle and had an incredible ride through the clouds and the dark, but totally worth it.

We set up our tent in Mansuleh and shared many many stories at dinner. So much fun a a big surprise in the morning when we saw this picturesque little town in the mountains for the first time in the daylight. Again, totally worth it.

Iran – what to expect?

We arrived at the border pretty late, we have to admit. But at borders service should be provided 24 hours, right! We could rely on the Iranians. After the bridge over the Aras river, we parked our bikes in front of a booth, where a young soldier welcomed us with „I love Germany“, advised us kindly to leave the bikes there and proceed to the passengers hall. Good start. As we were the only passengers in that moment, we got our passports checked and stamped right away. A second booth: passport again – registered maybe, security check and successfully entered Iran!!! Stop, our bikes need to be registered. What did we buy the expensive Carnet de Passage for, an in Iran necessary customs document? We asked the security guy and got the answer we didn’t want to hear. „Carnet – police, tomorrow 8, ähhhh or 9. We already accepted the fact to spend the night in the passengers hall but needed some things from or bikes to make the best our of the situation. The following 90 minutes were the first example of multiple encounters with Iranians in Iran. We drove further to the customs and showed our Carnet de Passage with little hope to succeed. One guy came took our passports and the Carnet, we didn’t feel very comfortable with that, and disappeared in a little container. 15 minutes later another guy came and asked for the documents, took them from the other guy in the container and checked the motor number and number plates. He asked us to come to his office, which was obviously closed, as all the other offices there, organised some copies and after 45 minutes he said goodbye and we were good to go. So in the end this guy was off work already and came in just for us without being mad or unfriendly. We were positively surprised and booth knew that this would have never happened in Germany. We felt equally surprised by the fact that nobody checked our bikes and luggage at all. And the in the last post mentioned restriction for bikes bigger 250cc or American brand for entering Iran was never a topic even though it was officially published by the ADAC…

We parked our bikes to get some money exchanged. First we checked the exchange rate online. 45.000 Rial for 1dollar. Then we went to the official exchange office in the passengers hall. They offered us 9800 for a dollar which confused us a lot. Even more confusing were all the private people outside the office who offered us between 1.5 and 1.8 million for the 20 dollars we intended to exchange. Finally we found out that for simplification reasons Iranians still use an old currency, the Toman, which simply means just to reduce the number you have to pay in Rial by one 0 and you get Toman. We gave it a shot and received 1.95 million Rial for 20 dollars. More than twice the amount we would have gotten from a bank. Still confusing. But ok for us.

Without any exaggeration there were 25 selfies taken with us and the bikes in the next hour but everybody was incredibly friendly and interested. The other side of the medal, it was already after midnight and the next bigger city a 90 minutes drive away. What we first thought we had avoided was now our best choice.

We decided to sleep in the passengers hall until sunrise to get the Iran adventure started. It wasn’t the most comfortable night we had on our journey…

Armenia or Azerbaijan?

What do we have to expect in Armenia?

Frankly, it was more or less just a transit country for us to get to the Iran. But soon we figured out we could easily stay in Armenia for three weeks. Not because the driving in this mountain country is so much fun (mountains = curves = fun) also because people are incredibly friendly and there are so many places to visit. We know that since we met Wolfgang at Dreamriders garage who is in Armenia for 2 weeks and recommended tons of places to visit and a place to stay close to Yerewan. A camp spot in Goght, founded by a wonderful Dutch couple 4 years ago. As we were eager to visit most of the recommended spots we only stayed one night and headed to lake Sevan. Some churches from 1st to 4th century on the way made us stop a couple of times before we finally stopped at a beautiful spot at the lake.









Actually we just wanted to snack our watermelon, but the sun, the lake, the 170 km we covered that day made us set up our tent to stay overnight. 10 degrees that night surprised us a bit, but we were ready for the border crossing. Already Iran? No, we approached the border of the Republic of Bergkarabach or Artsakh, which claims to be independent. Mostly Armenians live here and the region is functioning as a part of Armenia. Azerbaijan still does not accept the fact and the conflict is still ongoing. The regions close to the border show the leftovers of the military actions of the younger past. Aware of the history, we enjoyed the beautiful roads uphill, downhill, alongside a riverbank and the first gravel road since we geared our bikes with our off-road tires. Good choice. We walked into the Art Cafe in Stepanakert, the capital of Bergkarabach, to grab some food and luckily they also offered rooms for a fair rate. Great Armenian food and some preparations for the the next border crossing into Iran kept us busy that evening. The uncertainty, if we can enter the Iran was caused by a released message from ADAC earlier last week, that motorbikes of American brand and over 250cc are not allowed to be brought into the country anymore. Let’s give it a shot! The 260km down to the Iranian border took us longer than we expected but rewarded us with the most beautiful ride of the trip so far. Maybe you get a picture of it.

The last Dram (currency Armenia) were spend for gas and Kinder Bueno (haven’t had that since we started in May). We gave the wine we got from Koba in Georgia to the guys at the gas station (Sorry for that Koba) and put the book „Couchsurfing in Iran“ in the trash bin (sorry Stephan Orth, the book is really helpful) as it could cause trouble when entering Iran and then we were ready to go. Checking out from Armenia wasn’t a big deal, but entering Iran an adventure.

Hello from Iran! 🇮🇷

We have been driving around in Iran for almost 2000km and every day has been fantastic. The Iranians are welcoming us with open arms, chai and big smiles wherever we are!

We are having a great time chatting with the people, driving around the many mountains, enjoying tasty meals, tea, fresh juices, the daily watermelon, going for a dip in one of the many lakes, visiting historical sites, chilling at river sides, discovering stunning camp spots, getting dirty driving off-road, getting lost driving off-road, keeping up with the incredible heat in the desert and just enjoying our trip in this beautiful country!

Besides the hundreds of selfies and pictures taken off and with us, also we have taken many pictures and documented our trip however we can’t upload these as the photo and data upload for some reason is blocked. We are still writing the blog and once we are in a place the upload will be possible again, will be back on here in usual manner!

Click here to see where we are and follow our route!

Until then a big „salam“ from Shiras, in the South of Iran where we are at the moment.

Madloba Georgia

Having serviced the bikes we were ready to keep going further Southeast. However before we decided to stay a few more days in Georgia, enjoying stunning mountain roads, beautiful sights and the incredible hospitality from the people living here.

Leaving Rustavi we drove about 250km through the mountains up to 2500m above sea level to visit Vardsia a UNESCO world heritage site. The monastery was built into a mountain in the 13th century included a fresh water spring, a church and offered incredible views and interesting history.

On the way we were quite amazed by the beauty of the mountain range and enjoyed driving the perfect curvy roads up and down.

We had a quick lunch break at the lake Paravani and a bit of off-road driving around it.

About 20km before Vardsia it started raining quite heavily so we looked for a place to get shelter and stay for the night. Luckily we saw a sign guesthouse Mtkavi. We followed the signs riding through a muddy road up a hill and were lucky enough Koban a very friendly and funny guy had a room for us to stay. Even more we got a fantastic dinner all made from „the house“ and all organic. Even the wine was homemade and Natalie just didn’t stop serve more dishes accompanied by wine and fresh water from the spring to drink.

What a feast, we rolled into the bed after and had a very tight sleep in the quietness of the valley.

After visiting the monastery we were heading for Armenia. Going to spend our last Laris at a gas station a Mercedes car showed up next to us and we were invited to have a coffee. Surprisingly the driver spoke German. Merujan, a super friendly Handwerksmeister who lives with his parents in Schwerin and is visiting his family in Georgia invited us to follow him to his grandmothers house. Gladly we did and met his parents, grandmother and friends.

We’re so grateful for the hospitality and the wonderful time in Ninozminda we had. We learnt a lot about Armenian traditions and history, enjoyed incredible tasty food once again, nice Cognac too and were even offered to stay for the night. Thank you so much – hope to see you guys in Hamburg!

The next day we drove to direction Armenia and got check how our bikes and new tyres are working on muddy and difficult road conditions up to the Armenian border. The check out leaving Georgia went smooth, however we faced a 2 hours delay at the Armenien boarder – lots of paperwork to be done – but were once again rewarded for the hassle by stunning views, fun riding, sunny weather on our way to Yerevan, the Armenian capital. We checked in to a guesthouse, did some laundry and had the first Armenian beer.

Now it’s time to discover Armenia for a bit before heading to Iran.

See here where we are and how we got here.

Back on track

3 weeks of rest for our bikes, 3 weeks of time-out for us.

We are happy to be back in Georgia, happy to be re-united with our motorbikes which stayed safe and sound at KTM Georgia.

Today we got the tyres changed, new break pads mounted, oil changed and the bikes are ready to go. Big props to Lewan from KTM Georgia for all the support and help!

A bit of refreshment for our gear, sorting the equipment and planning the route was the task for later today.

The sweat, dust and dirt from 8500km sat inside the helmets which got a good clean as well as the boots and gloves.

The next few days we will be driving around in Gerogia before heading to Armenia, slowly making our way to Iran, the next milestone on our trip.

We are looking forward to the next adventures, beautiful sights, friendly encounters, panoramic views, tasty food, dirt roads, mountains, desert, rivers and much more to come and will be back blogging on here in usual manner.


So close but so different – Georgia

We’ve already crossed some borders during our tour. Most of them used to be ones and are nowadays just theoretical lines on a map. Cultural differences are often marginal. Sure the languages differ, architecture varies and cuisine changes. In the Baltic’s that happened but not in a way we experienced from Russia to Georgia now. The words don’t sound so harsh to us anymore, a little bit scratchy, but more melodic. The food changed to more diverse dishes with more and different herbs and flavors. The music has an oriental touch. And the letters are completely different. It’s nice when there is the translation stated right away…

Dill, used everywhere in Russia, changed to coriander, Pelmeni are Khinkali, and nobody orders his food just for himself. If only one person orders, everybody at the table gets a plate and the dish is placed in the middle for sharing. Taxis drive as bad/fast as in Moscow, but people are even (almost not possible) a little bit more helpful and friendly than in Russia. Everyone seems to be up for a chat. Everyone is caring.

Apart from the above observations we got to enjoy three days in picturesque Tiflis, Georgia’s capital which is surrounded by mountains and can be visited by a cable car. Its old town with the wooden houses and old buildings is very charming.

Jens and Andre from the Black Forest in Southwest Germany validated these impressions to be true. We met them at the Russian border drove side by side to Tiflis and met them for watching football together.

They are traveling on their Yamaha Teneres and started their trip almost at the same day we did. They plan outstanding things with their bikes, so please check out their website as well. See ya in India 🙂

We are not heading further South now as we both interrupt our trip. Our bikes are parked in a garage in Tiflis. Another proof of the Georgian hospitality, in this case from Slava and his team of KTM Georgia. This break wouldn’t be possible without their kindness and help which is not a matter of course.

In three weeks we’re both returning to Tiflis and keep going on our route through Armenia and Iran in direction of India. We’ll try to keep you entertained with some videos of the recent 8 weeks and more than entertained after we returned on our bikes. Thanks for reading our blog.

To be continued…

From the sea to the summit

We wanted to stay in Sochi for a bit of leisure and relaxing with a beach day or two. Also we were hoping for a nice match in the Fisht-Stadium. But for some reason not much is relaxed though. We had to stay in the hostel more or less for half a day because heavy rain forced us to before going to explore the city and watch Brazil being sent home by the brilliantly performing team from Belgium later that day. Melting hot temperatures replaced the refreshing rain in the afternoon and not the Brazilians filled the streets with sadness and disappointment but the little number of Argentinians celebrated the elimination of the Selecao more than a victory of their own squad. What a rivalry!

Daniel visited Sochi 10 years ago, before the Olympics and the World Cup and nothing but the train station and the old port remind of the city from 2008. Condominiums, hotels, parks, malls, cafes everywhere and a modern infrastructure (Some busses from 1970 are still on duty, but these were already old 10 years ago).

The Olympic Park with most of the Olympic facilities, the stadium and the Formula 1 racetrack are not even in Sochi and a 45 minutes train ride out of the city to the premises of Adler town, but are really breathtaking without a doubt.

The match Russia vs. Croatia really brought us close to a heart attack but was worth every penny and for us the final match we think we deserved to watch! 😉

The relaxing part shouldn’t be missed out and we decided to leave Sochi for another place along the black sea coast before we go around the Caucasus Mountains into Georgia. Dederkoy was the village of our choice and two days at the beach really gave us what we craved for.

The Shashlik (always tasty, always keep it in mind when you only get a Russian menu somewhere and don’t have any clue what is on there) with the homemade wine and bread was simple, but Arun, Sergey and Levan showed their amazing hospitality, thanks for that slight headache the next day guys.

The next three days are pretty easy summarized. Stand up, sweat, drive, sweat, refuel, sweat, drink, drink, drink, sweat, drive, eat, sweat, sleep, sweat. Three times and we arrived in Vladikavkas the last town before entering Georgia.

Two encounters are relevant to be mentioned. Natalia, a 55 year old woman, born in Münster, who works in the gas station near Armavir who still travels to Germany twice a year to visit her son Daniel and her granddaughter Anna-Maria. She was filled with joy and super happy to speak a few words in German with us. And Nikolai from the Krim, we passed him on his Yamaha WR450 from ancient times and met him at a break short after. He’s on his way to Batumi in Georgia in his two weeks holiday. Approximately 3000 kilometers round trip. Even we felt overequipped in that moment…

We almost forgot, that we entered the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. This region has a pretty turbulent history in the recent 30 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Republic and before, but still belongs to Russia. Passport control, armed soldiers around, but no bad feeling at all. The way to Vladikavkas was an easy one and left us about 30 kilometers to the border. Shouldn’t take longer than an hour unless cars line up for more than 3 kilometers – Shit, we might have gotten up earlier. It didn’t take long until the driver of the car with Georgian licence plate and „Fliesenleger Harder“ printed on his rear window insinuated that we can pass the line on the right. We weren’t sure and started to go until we reached an police officer who also gave us a sign to go on. It still took us more than an hour to go through customs and passport control, but it would have taken us literally a day if we hadn’t passed all cars. The whole process ran surprisingly smooth. No questions about registration, no speed violations no bag check, this was it – this was Russia.

What can we expect from the Georgian immigration? Another hour or two, vehicle checkpoint, customs? 10 minutes later we had our stamp and were ready to go. Finally we were able to enjoy the stunning environment of the Caucasian Mountains around us and couldn’t wait to relish the ride and the view in Georgia. What a beautiful windy road it is!

This is our route to the capital city of Georgia, Tiflis or Tbilisi.