I had no internet when entering Turkey, so I used offline OpenStreetMaps to find a place to sleep in Istanbul. A few non-existing hotels, non-existing campings and full hotels later, I decided to sleep in a park. The sun was already coming up anyway. The next day I bought a local SIM-card and promised myself to never arrive late at night to a city 😉
Iran was hard to get in.
I applied for an e-visa while in Turkey, but it was taking too long to be accepted. So I went to the Iranian Consulate in Erzurum. There I had to pay 75eur with a cash deposit at a nearby bank, and they gave me a paper, just before leaving the booth, without any explenation. It looked like a visa, sood news 🙂 Armed with a visa, I went to the Turkey-Iran border. Turkey took 5h to fix their administration for my scooter and then let me go to the Iranian side of the border. Here, I learned about the ‘Carnet de voyage’. Terrible. They send me back to Turkey, I contacted someone in Iran that could provide it for me, and woke up at 4:30 the next day to try again. This time, Turkey let me trough quite fast and in Iran, they welcomed me, let me sign a few persian papers, and put me on hold for 4h. After that we roade around the border post like madman to find someone to let me out. No pictures of this hole episode, because it is illegal to take those. I’ll avoid getting back with a vehicle into Iran.
In iran, I took a break next to the road. A trucker stopped, and offered me a cold citrus drink. People in Iran are indeed very welcoming. Fuel was 0.10euro/liter. Someone offered me to pay my fuel. I drove high in a mountain and found a hotel of 5.5euro/night. They offered me to go to the hot-spring swiming pool for free. The country was very nice, but mostly a desert.
Armenian drivers are dangerous
The people in the middle east tend to stand closer to you compared to Europe, but here they also tend to ride closer to you. Giving death fearing experiences all the way!
The idea of the rally is to get to as many poles of inconvenience as possible. I joined some other guys that also where on a scooter, and we headed to a sunken church in Romania. My spark plug wire fell of, but that was quickly fixed. We put on camp on a camping in Slovakia and the next day we started a race from Budapest. I took the highway that would do more kilometers, they went for the smaller roads, but with less kilometers. Long time, it was unclear who would get there first. But then, in the end, I ran out of engine oil and lost 2h30 just to get new oil. During this time, some nice Romanian girls came by to check if everything was ok. I even did some Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CgMFo5NMoqdjLo3T5A4EKRrquQIuWbgBNiW3OM0/ Now I check my oil every 500km and regularly add some.
The next day my scooter was making a strange noise, so I let it be checked. Apparently getting a repair is fast in this country. Within 2 hours, I found a great repairman, got my cylinder opened up and my oil changed.
Many thanks to this guy!
Next up was a nice piece of Carpathian road:
40km of questionable road quality
Pretty happy surviving
Perfect bivak spot
A road not to be forgotten! After that I had to pump my tires again to 1.9bar, it got my top speed back from 85km/h to 100km/h.
An other stall
In Bulgaria, my cylinder got ungracefully fragmented, 10km out of a small village. I supported the local economy by getting picked up again. Great. So now that I left my scooter in the garage, I had to carry most of my stuff to find a place to sleep for the night. The locals did not like I would put up tent up in a forest and honestly did not feel quite safe at that time too. The sun was already down, so I went to a hotel in the evening. Lazy me! Now the garagist is installing me a whole new cylinder, one that goes faster then the one before, but one powerful enough to break all other parts of the engine. Oh well, I can always try to ride slower than possible. This gave me the time to write this blog post, thanks for reading! 🙂 See you in an other blog post!