It ain't Easter, if you're at home, vol. 4. Destination: Caucasus

by Kostadin Mutafchiev

9719km in 27 days · 1114 views

Day 1, Thursday, April 5

254km in 3h · 71km/h
  • Traveled 38km in 48min
  • 18:19 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 131km in 1h 15min
  • 19:38 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 60km in 52min
  • 20:33 Stop for 7min
  • Traveled 25km in 22min
  • 21:04 11h 46min First tastes of the upcoming language barrier - the waiter at the Makaza Complex near the town of Kurdzhali has a hard time speaking bulgarian.

Day 2, Friday, April 6

703km in 8h · 72km/h
  • Traveled 41km in 21min
  • 09:12 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 28m in 8s
  • 09:14 18min Going into Greece. Border patrol urged us to get to the front of the queue.
  • Traveled 127km in 1h 32min
  • 11:05 19min First set of border checks for entering Turkey
  • Traveled 2km in 4min
  • 11:29 24min Second, and thankfully, final check on the Turkish border.
  • Traveled 97m in 1min
  • 11:55 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 28km in 15min
  • 12:16 16min First fuel stop in Turkey. First meeting with the peculiar way of refueling in Turkey - slips containing your license place number are carried around.
  • Traveled 8km in 6min
  • 12:38 Stop for 7min
  • Traveled 63km in 35min
  • 13:21 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 20m in 3s
  • 13:23 52min First ferry for the year.
  • Traveled 41km in 29min
  • 14:46 1h 04min Highly necessary stop for a refresh and stomach refill
  • Traveled 62km in 37min
  • 16:28 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 38km in 34min
  • 17:04 Stop for 18min
  • Traveled 109km in 1h 15min
  • 18:38 Stop for 11min
  • Traveled 53km in 34min
  • 19:25 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 26km in 25min
  • 19:54 Stop for 16min
  • Traveled 104km in 1h 06min
  • 21:17 1d 11h Rest day after 700 km in Selcuk. Time to go full tourist. Efes and it's ancient history awaits.

Day 3, Saturday, April 7

Day 4, Sunday, April 8

501km in 6h · 67km/h
  • Traveled 118km in 1h 23min
  • 10:35 Stop for 20min
  • Traveled 22m in 5s
  • 10:56 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 51km in 32min
  • 11:30 Stop for 16min
  • Traveled 49km in 30min
  • 12:17 1h 17min A gift from some invisible force saved us from the rain and hunger.
  • Traveled 99km in 1h 06min
  • 14:42 Stop for 25min
  • Traveled 21km in 12min
  • 15:20 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 13km in 8min
  • 15:31 Stop for 8min
  • Traveled 25km in 22min
  • 16:02 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 47km in 32min
  • 16:40 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 5km in 6min
  • 16:51 54min The ancient city of Myra and its tombs carved in the rock faces.
  • Traveled 73km in 1h 15min
  • 19:01 Stop for 6min
  • Traveled 1km in 1min
  • 19:09 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 10m in 4s
  • 19:12 Stop for 16h 16min

Day 5, Monday, April 9

162km in 3h · 38km/h
  • Traveled 1km in 3min
  • 11:32 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 10km in 13min
  • 11:47 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 5km in 7min
  • 11:58 2h 16min Chimaera or Yanartas. Eternal flames coming from the rock around the place.
  • Traveled 4km in 7min
  • 14:22 1h 59min Well deserved lunch after the walk to the flaming mountain in motorcycle gear.
  • Traveled 28km in 27min
  • 16:50 Stop for 8min
  • Traveled 64km in 1h 11min
  • 18:10 Stop for 7min
  • Traveled 1km in 3min
  • 18:20 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 1km in 3min
  • 18:30 1h 23min Left the bikes and headed to Gelidonya Feneri (Gelidonya Lighthouse). Totally worth another walk in gear. Sunset, sea and sight.
  • Traveled 6km in 12min
  • 20:06 Stop for 6min
  • Traveled 40km in 46min
  • 20:59 12h 39min Back to Kadir's Treehouses

Day 6, Tuesday, April 10

566km in 6h · 76km/h
  • Traveled 100km in 1h 14min
  • 10:53 27min Fuel stop with minor maintenance tasks
  • Traveled 89km in 59min
  • 12:20 1h 56min Going up in the mountains, snow caps visible. We stop at a quiet restaurant with only two choices - kuzu bbq (lamp bbq) and kawurma. Both delicious as hell.
  • Traveled 66km in 38min
  • 14:56 15min Quick fuel stop after we're back in the lowlands and two digit temperatures
  • Traveled 201km in 1h 55min
  • 17:07 33min Last fuel stop before our arrival in the Capadoccia area.
  • Traveled 107km in 1h 05min
  • 18:45 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 283m in 1min
  • 18:49 Stop for 13min
  • Traveled 4km in 5min
  • 19:08 Stop for 1d 16h

Day 7, Wednesday, April 11

Day 8, Thursday, April 12

75km in 2h · 26km/h
  • Traveled 50km in 54min
  • 12:58 Stop for 13min
  • Traveled 1km in 1min
  • 13:14 Stop for 16min
  • Traveled 2km in 5min
  • 13:35 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 4km in 11min
  • 13:50 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 417m in 3min
  • 13:59 9min Some content generation ongoing
  • Traveled 1km in 4min
  • 14:13 26min More picture taking & making
  • Traveled 8km in 17min
  • 14:57 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 5km in 15min
  • 15:14 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 532m in 3min
  • 15:21 Stop for 18min
  • Traveled 2km in 4min
  • 15:44 Stop for 1h 27min
  • Traveled 285m in 1min
  • 17:12 16h 06min Last night in Goreme. Everybody's tired but happy.

Day 9, Friday, April 13

608km in 7h · 68km/h
  • Traveled 146km in 1h 25min
  • 10:44 27min Rain induced stop. Met a Swiss couple going our way.
  • Traveled 116km in 1h 01min
  • 12:13 Stop for 9min
  • Traveled 155km in 1h 37min
  • 14:00 1h 05min Lunch time at the end of Malatya.
  • Traveled 78km in 1h 12min
  • 16:18 Stop for 10min
  • Traveled 2km in 5min
  • 16:34 43min Mount Nemrut and it's ancient Greek statues situated on both sides of the peak itself. 5 minutes of dirt road get you at the "entrance".
  • Traveled 4km in 12min
  • 17:29 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 24km in 34min
  • 18:08 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 16km in 14min
  • 18:24 Stop for 12min
  • Traveled 66km in 49min
  • 19:26 14h 00min After failing to find a nice, quiet mountain hut around mount Nemrut, we resorted going back into the lowlands and sleeping in a posh-looking, but decent priced hotel - Kalegol Otel (Kale is the citi, Gol is lake)

Day 10, Saturday, April 14

578km in 6h · 73km/h
  • Traveled 197km in 1h 49min
  • 11:16 Stop for 29min
  • Traveled 175km in 1h 44min
  • 13:30 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 21km in 15min
  • 13:50 46min First doner in the last day of this leg of stay in Turkey
  • Traveled 109km in 1h 07min
  • 15:43 Stop for 11min
  • Traveled 75km in 42min
  • 16:37 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 866m in 4min
  • 16:45 Stop for 7min
  • Traveled 20m in 7s
  • 16:53 Stop for 16h 42min

Day 11, Sunday, April 15

247km in 4h · 45km/h
  • Traveled 47km in 29min
  • 10:06 2h 18min Ani ruins
  • Traveled 75km in 1h 12min
  • 13:36 1h 31min Balik restaurant. Fat catfish all over the place
  • Traveled 17km in 13min
  • 15:20 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 36km in 24min
  • 15:48 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 0m in 0s
  • 15:51 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 46m in 12s
  • 15:55 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 283m in 2min
  • 16:00 Stop for 10min
  • Traveled 819m in 1min
  • 16:11 Stop for 10min
  • Traveled 26km in 18min
  • 16:41 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 12km in 24min
  • 17:08 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 18km in 41min
  • 17:51 Stop for 8min
  • Traveled 3km in 5min
  • 18:06 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 415m in 1min
  • 18:10 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 2km in 2min
  • 18:14 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 4km in 6min
  • 18:27 Stop for 6min
  • Traveled 6km in 5min
  • 18:39 Stop for 14h 17min

Day 12, Monday, April 16

146km in 4h · 30km/h
  • Traveled 6km in 6min
  • 09:04 2h 42min Vardzia cave monastery complex
  • Traveled 54km in 47min
  • 12:33 Stop for 8min
  • Traveled 46km in 54min
  • 13:36 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 17m in 4s
  • 13:38 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 4km in 12min
  • 13:55 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 3km in 13min
  • 14:11 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 8km in 24min
  • 14:38 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 22km in 52min
  • 15:33 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 3km in 9min
  • 15:47 1h 17min Looong, long awaited beer & food after the main road number 1
  • Traveled 63m in 18s
  • 17:05 Stop for 15h 43min

Day 13, Tuesday, April 17

270km in 5h · 50km/h
  • Traveled 77km in 1h 27min
  • 10:16 39min Washing away the Khulo road and a glorious fuel refill
  • Traveled 82km in 1h 33min
  • 12:28 Stop for 2h 57min
  • Traveled 66km in 58min
  • 16:25 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 27km in 32min
  • 17:02 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 17km in 21min
  • 17:26 Stop for 14min
  • Traveled 649m in 1min
  • 17:42 16h 15min Our home for the next two nights.

Day 14, Wednesday, April 18

107km in 3h · 26km/h
  • Traveled 8km in 19min
  • 10:17 Stop for 12min
  • Traveled 379m in 1min
  • 10:30 Stop for 9min
  • Traveled 33km in 54min
  • 11:33 26min The road to Koruldi lakes still seems to be snowy.
  • Traveled 7km in 12min
  • 12:12 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 4km in 14min
  • 12:31 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 6km in 15min
  • 12:50 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 352m in 1min
  • 12:54 21min The motorable part of the trekking path stops here. An abandoned village with a view.
  • Traveled 42km in 1h 06min
  • 14:22 35min Svaneti museum
  • Traveled 2km in 8min
  • 15:06 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 2km in 6min
  • 15:14 31min We finally found the suuper elusive Khergiani museum. One hell of a man he was.
  • Traveled 2km in 3min
  • 15:49 16h 46min A good night of sleep is a must after the sweaty day around the mountains.

Day 15, Thursday, April 19

367km in 5h · 67km/h
  • Traveled 27km in 29min
  • 09:06 Stop for 10min
  • Traveled 74km in 1h 09min
  • 10:26 29min Late breakfast is better than no breakfast.
  • Traveled 75km in 1h 00min
  • 11:56 Stop for 11min
  • Traveled 102km in 1h 23min
  • 13:32 Stop for 9min
  • Traveled 89km in 1h 19min
  • 15:01 16h 30min Borjomi is famous for its mineral waters. However, it will remain in my memory with the accidential 8km hike that happened.

Day 16, Friday, April 20

283km in 5h · 44km/h
  • Traveled 1km in 2min
  • 07:34 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 122km in 1h 40min
  • 09:18 Stop for 7min
  • Traveled 23km in 19min
  • 09:44 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 16km in 20min
  • 10:08 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 849m in 2min
  • 10:13 33min Border crossing into Armenia. Most of the wait was for the bank clerk to understand that I want to pay with a card.
  • Traveled 15m in 4s
  • 10:46 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 21km in 17min
  • 11:06 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 16km in 25min
  • 11:33 12min "Recalculating the route"
  • Traveled 2km in 8min
  • 11:54 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 41km in 55min
  • 12:54 Stop for 8min
  • Traveled 41km in 41min
  • 13:43 1d 19h Rest day in Yerevan

Day 17, Saturday, April 21

Day 18, Sunday, April 22

312km in 5h · 53km/h
  • Traveled 30km in 31min
  • 09:47 31min Garni temple near Yerevan
  • Traveled 65km in 1h 19min
  • 11:39 Stop for 6min
  • Traveled 97km in 1h 15min
  • 13:01 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 41km in 36min
  • 13:40 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 70km in 51min
  • 14:33 Stop for 10min
  • Traveled 10km in 19min
  • 15:03 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 60m in 51s
  • 15:07 Stop for 18h 29min

Day 19, Monday, April 23

283km in 4h · 61km/h
  • Traveled 25km in 31min
  • 10:08 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 46km in 30min
  • 10:42 Stop for 11min
  • Traveled 39km in 34min
  • 11:28 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 38km in 46min
  • 12:18 13min Some mistaken backroads
  • Traveled 40km in 43min
  • 13:15 12min Old Caravansarai on the Silk Road in the Selim pass.
  • Traveled 9km in 7min
  • 13:35 3min Still some snow by the road
  • Traveled 6km in 4min
  • 13:43 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 2km in 2min
  • 13:49 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 4m in 1s
  • 13:55 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 2km in 3min
  • 14:02 15min Road blocks caused by the recent political stirr in Armenia
  • Traveled 35km in 21min
  • 14:39 9min Hayravank monastery, on the shore of lake Sevan.
  • Traveled 26km in 23min
  • 15:12 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 12km in 15min
  • 15:32 18h 14min A little luxury for the motorcycle traveller - Best Western hotel for the night

Day 20, Tuesday, April 24

301km in 5h · 49km/h
  • Traveled 15km in 9min
  • 09:56 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 80km in 1h 16min
  • 11:15 Stop for 9min
  • Traveled 22km in 23min
  • 11:48 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 24km in 26min
  • 12:18 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 36m in 11s
  • 12:22 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 699m in 3min
  • 12:28 27min Border crossing accompanied by a ride with a border patrol officer on the back of the bike.
  • Traveled 18km in 14min
  • 13:10 18min Fuel stop and some maintenance.
  • Traveled 138km in 1h 50min
  • 15:19 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 1km in 3min
  • 15:27 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 1km in 2min
  • 15:34 18h 44min Sleeping in Gori, the birth place of Stalin.

Day 21, Wednesday, April 25

492km in 6h · 66km/h
  • Traveled 81km in 1h 04min
  • 11:23 31min The great postcard adventure in Georgia, 2018
  • Traveled 66km in 56min
  • 12:52 21min Border crossing into Turkey again.
  • Traveled 52m in 11s
  • 13:13 Stop for 5min
  • Traveled 277km in 2h 58min
  • 16:17 Stop for 11min
  • Traveled 69km in 53min
  • 17:22 15h 53min Stop for the night in a hotel across the municipality and its security - several heavy armored vehicles.

Day 22, Thursday, April 26

537km in 7h · 61km/h
  • Traveled 6km in 7min
  • 09:23 34min Ishak Pasha Palace. Kind of lacking the posh of other medieval palaces. Also not that preserved for something "only" 300 years old.
  • Traveled 123km in 1h 36min
  • 11:34 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 340m in 1min
  • 11:40 15min First proper glance of the lake Van with Suphan peak in the background
  • Traveled 56km in 36min
  • 12:32 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 32km in 18min
  • 12:53 49min Fast food garnished with language barrier. I now have three portions of kufte. Hello, dinner.
  • Traveled 11km in 6min
  • 13:49 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 9km in 7min
  • 13:58 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 60km in 52min
  • 14:55 15min Lake Nemrut and its surrounding crater
  • Traveled 128km in 2h 01min
  • 17:12 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 109km in 1h 11min
  • 18:26 Stop for 9min
  • Traveled 933m in 2min
  • 18:38 Stop for 13min
  • Traveled 656m in 1min
  • 18:52 Stop for 6min
  • Traveled 8m in 2s
  • 18:59 14h 14min After a navigation error that send me towards Iraq and a ferocious thunderstorm and the subsequent U-turn, I decide to skip the Castle of Van and go straight to the hotel. This night, for a change, Helga is IN the hotel as well.

Day 23, Friday, April 27

741km in 8h · 76km/h
  • Traveled 3km in 5min
  • 09:19 Stop for 11min
  • Traveled 305km in 3h 02min
  • 12:33 32min Fill up and chocolate stop. A brisk 300 km in perfect temperatures for riding - around 18 degrees C
  • Traveled 246km in 2h 23min
  • 15:29 48min It was time for a late lunch.
  • Traveled 110km in 1h 22min
  • 17:39 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 72km in 1h 00min
  • 18:43 26min Looking for a hotel.
  • Traveled 5km in 4min
  • 19:14 14h 16min At last I settled for a rather expensive option, but hey, it's the last days of the trip, I deserve some comfort.

Day 24, Saturday, April 28

521km in 6h · 78km/h
  • Traveled 103km in 1h 05min
  • 10:36 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 136km in 1h 25min
  • 12:03 38min Some fuel wouldn't hurt anybody.
  • Traveled 152km in 1h 29min
  • 14:11 3min Meandring river with some funny colors.
  • Traveled 131km in 1h 30min
  • 15:45 Stop for 8min
  • Traveled 23m in 7s
  • 15:54 17h 18min A nice sunset and beer availability made Sinop a good stop on the way home.

Day 25, Sunday, April 29

966km in 9h · 90km/h
  • Traveled 6km in 6min
  • 09:19 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 9km in 5min
  • 09:29 Stop for 14min
  • Traveled 63km in 33min
  • 10:17 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 99km in 59min
  • 11:19 Stop for 8min
  • Traveled 152km in 1h 32min
  • 12:59 Stop for 3min
  • Traveled 37km in 20min
  • 13:23 Stop for 14min
  • Traveled 80km in 40min
  • 14:18 50min Lunch time and the worst adana kebap that I've ever east ot Istanbul
  • Traveled 3km in 2min
  • 15:11 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 200km in 1h 58min
  • 17:12 53min At the outskirts of Istanbul. 300 km to go. Stop for refill - motorcycle and body.
  • Traveled 315km in 2h 57min
  • 21:02 Stop for 10min
  • Traveled 585m in 4min
  • 21:17 14h 15min The first not-that-shiny hotel near the center of Edrine. Bulgaria is 35 km away. Almost there.

Day 26, Monday, April 30

339km in 5h · 56km/h
  • Traveled 9km in 13min
  • 11:46 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 905m in 1min
  • 11:50 Stop for 2min
  • Traveled 104km in 1h 20min
  • 13:12 15min Reflecting on the last kilometers. Little did I know that the next 40 will remind me of the Georgian experience - potholes, cows and other non-asphalt artifacts on the road.
  • Traveled 196km in 2h 43min
  • 16:11 Stop for 13min
  • Traveled 29km in 30min
  • 16:55 17h 51min A nice and easy ride through several magnificent passes to reach the heart of Rhodope mountains. And the first part of the welcome delegation.

Day 27, Tuesday, May 1

360km in 5h · 71km/h
  • Traveled 41km in 38min
  • 11:25 Stop for 6min
  • Traveled 54km in 54min
  • 12:26 34min Fuel and sugar for the team.
  • Traveled 59km in 53min
  • 13:55 1h 30min BBQ stop and meetup with the rest of the party. Yundola at its best - no sand or anything, little to no traffic.
  • Traveled 18km in 14min
  • 15:40 Stop for 4min
  • Traveled 30km in 24min
  • 16:09 Stop for 7min
  • Traveled 53km in 39min
  • 16:55 32min Last fuel stop before the final stop of the journey - HOME
  • Traveled 106km in 1h 17min

Legend

  • Hotel 17
  • Gas station 17
  • Restaurant 13
  • Generic stop 12
  • Beautiful sight 11
  • Tourist sight 11
  • Border 6
  • Something special 3
  • Ferry 1
  • Coffee 1