Today we leave Erzerum

Today we leave Erzerum after a days rest……well sort of…..a day of phone calls and the Internet after the bank made a mistake. Cancelling my credit card, they left Li’s stollen card active for a week.
We are heading north to Batumi on the Black Sea coast in Georgia. After much procrastination we have decided to skip Iran. The visa process is tricky, expensive and there are rumours we need a guide from border to border if entering by bicycle. Thanks to other tourers blogs it appears some cyclists are being let through but frankly we don’t want the head ache and are reading, hearing rave reviews about other possible routes. Skipping Iran means we don’t need to enter Turkmenistan on a transit visa, dashing across the country, around 500 kms in 3-5 days dependant upon the visa they bless you with.
Batumi is apparently, hopefully, a laid back easy destination to arrange visas for Azerbaijan and beyond…..a ferry across the Caspian Sea looks promising. So we head to Georgia, back to Turkey to meet a friend who will cycle with us back into Georgia as well as bringing us replacement items and thank goodness…..our credit cards.
On our rest day we also discovered you can not courier cards at all into Georgia, the bank will not courier cards into Turkey, and after the banks mistake, at least another week before the most important card arrives at our UK address. Thank you base camp Battersea!
So after riding our highest altitudes to date, 2190 meters and more mountain passes there about, we are going down hill. Then Back into Turkey, up again to higher passes on our way to Kars……Then the rest of Georgia, we will again be contemplating our winter clothes.


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