With an icy start I crawl out of a rather warm tent, this heater is seriously worth every penny. With coffee boiling and eggs and bacon (read a full pack of bacon) I start the car which is running oddly rough this morning. It’s slightly missing, I think the glow plugs may have finally had it, as once I shut it down and let the heat that it did create transfer around better it started and ran perfectly afterwards. Odd, but something to watch. But luckily the sun came straight out and warmed up the world, leading for the lower photos. 

Todays goal is to cross over a powerlines track from north to south, so lets get into this. My first give away should have been the 500 meters of river I have to drive through to get into the valley, followed by meeting up with a horseback rider. Hmmm. I make it maybe another 1.5 kms to a rough boulder field, and of course, being unsupervised this round I get into building a road for the drop off to avoid rolling the car. In theory this works, in practice I start the drop and the wagon slips of the rocks and punches the fuel tank through the rear floor. More on this later.

In low range I clamber through the boulders before a steep exit and stand proud. Which is promptly killed as another 200m ahead I have to turn around as the next wash out is a 2-meter drop which is just not possible alone. Turning around I squeeze back up the track no problem and hit the highway after a quick airing up.


Not one to give up, I find a camp site on the southside, but upon arriving it’s not what I want for the night, so I keep going and end up at the south end of the pass, well up and up we go. Till maybe 200 meter of altitude from the top, wash outs, I figure with a shovel you could cut a ledge for a set of tyres, but once again, maybe not alone. But lucky for me, just a few meters back is a great flat spot with a killer view, perfect place for a birthday meal!!

So.. backtrack a bit, the rocks I slid off, I didn’t find this damage till arriving at camp. A hammer sorted it, but I will need to sort something out later on. Fuel tank is fine at least.


More pork for dinner, plus some whiskey to celebrate. I use coals once again to heat through the night but there is no wind and I watch the sun drop behind the mountains.

The morning has that light cloud around the mountain tops and creates a great overcast for photos. Once again, eggs and bacon, cause everywhere I seem to stay I can never get it. Working down the mountain I find a lake that will be perfect for camping, this is after a 2 hour delay of traffic through Tbisli. Rough.


At least the lake it is quiet and a good temperature. With wood collected, I settle in with my newly hired security, I have found (4 times so far) if you feed the stray that is friendly enough to pet, they will not let anyone or anything remotely near your car. So that means a peaceful sleep.

Sadly, this leads us to me heading back to Armenia to pack up the wagon for another long sleep while I head to work.


Back in Istanbul:

I do get to hit up the illusion museum in Istanbul though! Always fun. Till next time!!

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