IRANIAN ADVENTURE 2016/17
I apologize for the low quality English translations!
Everything started in Slovenia in July 2015 when I met Riccardo Aldegheri (Joe’s Place B & B), a special person who told me about his adventurous trips and made me realize that Iran was an achievable destination, then social with photos of the motovayers that have come here from Europe and Virginie Verdenal’s solitary journey has given me the last stimulus to go.
The decision was taken, it was just a matter of organizing the trip alone, preparing the bike, deciding the journey, thinking about the times, the equipment!
The trip to me had already begun!
Itinerary – 12700 km
La Spezia, Ancona, Igoumenitsa, Nea Vrasna, Tekirdag, Ilgaz, Trabzon, Akhaltsikhe, Gyumri – Gyumri, Areni, Meghri, Urmia, Kermanshah, Esfahan, Shiraz, Persepolis, Kerman, Shahdad, Yazd, Qom, Chabokshar, Tabriz, Van, Erzincan, Nevşehir, Düzce, Alexandroupolis, Igoumenitsa, Ancona, Fabriano, La Spezia.
Italy 🇮🇹 Greece 🇬🇷 Turkey 🇹🇷 Georgia 🇬🇪 Armenia 🇦🇲 – Armenia 🇦🇲 Iran 🇮🇷 Turkey 🇹🇷 Greece 🇬🇷 Italy 🇮🇹
The trip (37 days on the road) began in 2016 and ended in 2017. Yes, I have had several bites !!!
I left La Spezia on April 23, 2016, but arrived at the Ancona’s ticket office, I realized I lost the envelope with passport, travel book and international license.
In about fifteen days I redone all the documents and on May 7, 2016 I resumed, but after crossing the Adriatic, Greece, Turkey and Georgia on May 13 fell from the bike on a muddy road in Gyumri, Armenia, fracturing me tibia and perone. The Italian Consul who intervened in my rescue at the hospital offered to hire the bike in is hotel and then without this problem, I came back to Italy to operate my leg in Milan. The leg operation was fine, but I had problems with metal intolerance and complications that made me delay the continuation of the trip for an exact year.
All that happened seemed to mean: let it go, not go, it’s not your trip !. And instead!
On May 13, 2017, with the flight from Milan-Moscow-Yerevan I started again to arrive at Gyumri, in the hotel Villa Kars, where the motorcycle was housed (BMW R1200 GS – 2013), from where IRANIAN ADVENTURE started again ended after a beautiful voyage with the return to La Spezia on June 11, 2017.
Below the travel diary:
2016.04.23/25 – 1048 km
April 23, 2016 – 148 km, first day
La Spezia – Marina di Castagneto Carducci
Towards 18 o’clock began the great Iran destination trip. This night I will sleep in Tuscany, so in the morning I will have less time to get to Ancona.
April 24, 2016 – 520 km, second day
Marina di Castagneto Carducci – Ancona – Fabriano
I left at 8 o’clock to Ancona, all the main road except for the last piece, arrived at the Maritime Station I realized I did not have the envelope with inside passport, motorbike booklet and international license! WITHOUT WORDS! Turned and turned in the rain on the freeway to look for them but nothing! I stayed in Fabriano (Hotel 2000 – 60 €).
April 25, 2016 – 380 km, third day
Fabriano – La Spezia
The return to La Spezia !!!
2016.05.07/13 – 3256 km
May 7, 2016 – 459 km, first day
La Spezia – Ancona
Departure scheduled for Sunday 8, but anticipated on Saturday 7 May to avoid 4 days of ferry strikes for Greece. The day is beautiful, sunshine and 17-23 ° C, little traffic. At 13:30 I am in Ancona to check in at the port!
May 8, 2016 – 459 km, second day
Igoumenitsa – Nea Vrasna
When I wake up the ship is up to Albania, good weather. At 09:00 I should land! In Greece there is no one, no traffic, beautiful the starting road and even the country on the hills, I wanted to stop eating at a trattoria, but Gloria’s cake in the box dropped me off! I came to a mountain tourist village and from there with a turn of down curves I took the freeway, zero traffic. At Nea Vrasna a very kind person of a bar on the sea accompanied me to the unbeatable B & B Sunelen Studio. Later I came back to his place to eat a pizza. The tip of Sunelen to show me the room was a little too fast, and the next morning at the agreed hour she did not get alive. I will pay by wire transfer!
It seems impossible but today I did 459 km, exactly what I did yesterday!
May 9, 2016 – 489 km, third day
Nea Vrasna – Tekirdag
Starting my journey at 08:05, after a piece of a nearly deserted highway, I go back to the normal, beautiful road, from Sapes to Mikro Derio! It’s worth it! Nice weather, also called my friend Franco, just when I stopped to take photos, what a pleasure! Later I went to Turkey to Edirne. Beautiful nature, beautiful hills in the road to Tekirdag where I arrived quite early, in the city center a disgruntled break for work in progress has led me off the road, the Navigator saved me! In the evening I went to eat kebab, a large plate with two strips of meat, salad, tomatoes, yellow rice, a kind of yogurt / cheese a bit acid but very good, tea and water, all very nice.
Too bad the hotel “Deniz Pansiyon” is just a dirty topaise (20 euros)!
May 10, 2016 – 598 km, fourth day
Tekirdag – Ilgaz
I left at 7:45 am. The crossing of Istanbul was as I imagined, a crazy crane, it takes 6 eyes, but when you understand how it works it goes pretty good! The thing that struck me most, after crossing the bridge was the sign “Welcome in Asia”, which I was thrilled, it was as if it was directed just to me! After passing the metropolis it ranks like the wind! All 3 and 2 lanes, with perfect asphalt, beautiful landscapes, then the ascent to the 1300 m and the rain started; apart from the rain, perfect transfer stage! I arrived at Ilgaz at about 16pm, finally a decent hotel (Akbak Hotel); tonight I ate in the hotel’s self-service turkey, eggplant and tomato meat, then potatoes with other meat, all seasoned with rice, relaxation and bed early!
May 11, 2016 – 629 km, fifth day
Ilgaz – Trabzon
Long transfer stage, covered sky and low temperatures 11/17 degrees centigrade. Always freeways without traffic surrounded by paddles and hills. The police stopped me, I think just for spending time, they were kind and made themselves photographed for FB. From Samsun the road runs along the Black Sea coast, it looks like Liguria, later on again a busy little freeway, beautiful crossed cities, running life, kids coming out of school, peasants working in the fields. Arrived at Trabzon, to reach the Sanli Hotel Hammam & SPA I went through a neighborhood with incredible media and people, nice hotel and staff very friendly but surrounded by crumbling buildings. The reception boy found me the sticker of Turkey! Dinner on the 5th floor, not bad!
May 12, 2016 – 458 km, sixth day
Trabzon – Akhaltsikhe
I continue for another 160 km on the Black Sea coast, then inside and I climb quickly, beautiful Turkey! Little traffic and beautiful roads, it’s a shame that in the first part the asphalt is pebbly, but in winter, temperatures have to drop a lot, but the wonder is when I approach the 2500m above sea level, it seems to fly over green meadows! The road continues in a rush between 2100 and 2600 meters, on the horizon snowy mountains, occasionally a piece of white road, the bike seems like a happy horse running in the meadows. After a long descent I’m on the Georgian border. Solitary stamps and visas but I’do not pay anything, at the first service station I find two Husqvarna 650 all fickle, a Belgian couple, Sofie and Jo (Destination World) traveling to Mongolia, they have 5 months to go and come back, bless them!
It ends that we continue to travel together to Akhaltsikhe, they will sleep in my hotel and we will spend the evening together, before we visit the old restored castle and then we go to eat and drink Georgian food !!! We go to bed a little cheerful!
May 13, 2016 – 164 km, seventh day
Akhaltsikhe – Gyumri
The day begins with the rain, after greeting Sofie and Jo I start, the road runs down the valley bottom along its impetuous river! Then I begin to go to the border with Armenia. Upon arriving at the border the usual checks, I pay 30 euros to the border police, then 33 euros for compulsory insurance.
The first impression of Armenia is not very good, just past the border, disappearing the road, I stand in front of an abandoned building, the paved road is gone, I see it a few hundred meters later, after it improves a bit, but the holes do not lack and you have to drive carefully. On the left, the green of the hills is reflected in a large lake, then descends, the road improves and passes on the outskirts of a small town. I walk quietly as long as the navigator avoids the city and shortens the journey, makes me enter a dirt road full of holes but can be traversed fairly well, after a dozen kilometers the base changes, becomes muddy, I begin to worry and I stop to see where to put the wheels. Error, when I start after a few meter the bike slips / falls to the rear and falls to the ground, my right leg is under the bike bag! Strong pain! I can not get rid of my leg. Despair!!! First I turn the bike on / off, then the spotlights and finally I can turn off the key too. I’m exhausted, sweaty, the pain is strong, I miss my breath, I get rid of the tank bag, I drink fresh water and I can use the bag as a pillow. I try to get off my foot, but nothing. I have to calm down and reason, the road is deserted, no one can help me. I try to push the other leg on the parachute to see the movement but only after infinite attempts I can recover my leg. I drink and try to catch my breath, but the pain grows, finally, after about twenty minutes, a car arrives, I reach out to let me know and the guide guy sees me, stops, speaks only Armenian, calls someone on the phone he passes me: help, hospital, police! The guy has to go, I just stay on the edge of the mud waiting for the ambulance and the police. Meanwhile I roaming on the iPhone, I call Gloria and tell her the story, at least I feel I’m alive, I would not faint. Five minutes later a guy gets to walk around me around mumbling and after a while that it seemed to me the endless ambulance came.
One of those Russian military vans with a stretcher and an electric stove! The nurse makes me a puncture and then they load me on board, but from there I am not going to move until the police arrive to take care of the bike, after about half an hour we leave and my laments on that cramped road become screams! I think the worst journey of my life. Finally the asphalt and the things are better. When I arrive at the hospital, doctors, nurses and sedans come to me, does not happen every day that an Italian imbecile biker, dressed like like an astronaut breaks a leg right there! Documents, alcohol testing, I immediately make the rays and the diagnosis is: two fractures, tibia and fibula, like the players, it seems to take a few screws. The hospital is not bad, all in granite with free Wi-Fi and very friendly staff, meanwhile Gloria sent me via sms the phone number to call the Embassy in Yerevan, I call and they give me the number of Honorary Consul Italy in Gyumri Dr. Antonio Montalto, who assures me, it will arrive in a few minutes. Here he has the appearance of the console, grizzled beard, pied de poule jacket! He offers himself to take care of me and to park the bike in the courtyard of his hotel “Villa Kars”, after consulting with him I decide to book the flight to Italy and to operate in Milan.
May 14, 2016, eighth day
I spend the day waiting for the flight and have the opportunity to meet the Armenians. In the hospital treat me as a prince, all the staff are really helpful and very polite. In my room there is a man: Johannes Poghosyan for a nose operation, the whole family offers to help me on all occasions. Johannes’s mother continually gives me food, and when she realizes that I like fruit, she slams me sliced bananas and then dates and tomatoes. There is some difficulty with Wi-Fi and a nurse slams me down the corridors with the wheelchair until I find the signal, then thanks to Sona’s availability, Johannes’s daughter, a beautiful 19-year-old girl, who access the power of your mobile phone, I can communicate with all the friends in the world!
May 15, 2016, ninth day
Flight Yerevan / Paris / Milan
Wake up at at 3:30 am, at 4 am came the consul friend to take me with the driver and an old Mercedes cab. I greet the Poghosyan family and away, about two hours trip to Yerevan with the Ararat Mountain, the Arca Mountain in the background! At Yerevan Airport we are greeted by the embassy officer who has activated wheelchair assistance during the trip.
I’m in Paris, I’m coming back to Italy, in about an hour I should be in Milan. Gloria and Franco are waiting for me at the airport to take me to the hospital where I hope they will fast operate my leg!
May 16, 2016
Milano – Istituto Gaetano Pini
Wake up at 6.30 for withdrawals and analysis. Tomorrow at 13 o’clock they should work my fracture. Then Gloria came with strawberries and blueberries.
How many greetings on FB!
May 19, 2016
Milano – La Spezia
Today they resign me! In the morning I buy the tutor and anti-embolist stockings. Andrea, my brother-in-law, will come and pick us up with my car, he waits us at aunt Augusta home and puts on the car the bag and the other luggage that Franco has since brought in. Gloria and me, once we get free from the hospital, we’ll get there by taxi. Everything goes to perfection, let’s start to go home. We arrive at 6pm and after greeting Zoe in the office, we go home, slowly climb the stairs one floor at a time, finally in the armchair!
After a year of waiting, things settle down and the departure for the long IRANIAN ADVENTURE is approaching. The start is set at 06.55 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 from Milan Malpensa, stop at Moscow and arrive at Yerevan at 17.50.
A taxi, probably the usual guy who accompanied me in 2016, comes to the airport and will accompany me to Gyumri at Villa Kars where the bike is waiting for me!
May 13, 2017, first day
We leave from the FS Station of La Spezia, with some delay Gloria and I arrive in Milan where Franco, my dear friend and his son Peter are waiting for us at the Central Station. Huge luggage!
Quiet evening in Muggiò.
May 14, 2017, second day
Milano – Mosca – Yerevan – Gyumri
I’m on the plane for Moscow, left! ✈
After an exact year, I’m back in the road, if it’s all right, i will take the trip from where it stopped on May 13, 2016!
I’m in Moscow and I’m leaving for Yerevan, all OK, an hour late at the start, no problem for the lithium battery I have in my baggage, so much apprehension for nothing!
я хочу, чтобы идти, где не было когда-либо
I’m in Yerevan! He is the driver of last year!
We are on the way to Gyumri!
I arrived in Gyumri, at Villa Kars; it looks amazing but as soon as I got to see the bike, it was in a sub-scale with a towel over, I removed the towel I turned the ignition key and the instrument panel lit up, the battery is alive! I could not start it because it was late at night and I did not want to wake anyone. Tomorrow I will have to pull it out of the undercap and try to get it started, a wash because it’s really dirty, then we’ll see! Meanwhile, a great welcome from Armenia by the Consul and by Max, a young 35-year-old from Trentino who cooks in the hotel, we were talking until late in front of a good glass of Armenian wine. Good night.
May 15, 2017 – 22 km, third day
Gyumri, Villa Kars
Sweet awakening and immediately working on the bike, the old battery is, of course, almost completely discharged, I mount the lithium battery and at the first attempt: vroooomm.
I charge the old one and once reassembled, vroom vroooommm, perfect!
I went to the Police Station with the friend of the Consul because otherwise when I leave from Armenia I risk a fine, I entered in 05/2016 and I leave in 05/2017! Antonio, the Consul, makes me an Armenian statement explaining what happened, and with that I should go! But I have to leave tomorrow in the morning. Today I got closer to the beast! What work, what emotion, I went to inflating tires and filling in gas then, seeing the rainy weather I was a bit with Antonio to see the jobs he is doing, next week he will open a restaurant right in front of the hotel. Dinner with Antonio and Max, very enjoyable.
May 16, 2017 – 237 km, fourth day
Gyumri – Yerevan – Areni
Towards Yerevan, beautiful scenery, the issue with the date of my first entry into Armenia is becoming primary!
I’m in Yerevan in the Consul’s office, everyone is very kind, but are almost 6pm and I’m waiting for the driver with the papers from this morning!
Okay, it seems all set, I have Documents and Antonio’s statement.
The mountain in the background is the Ararat, 5137 m. the highest in Turkey.
About 20 o’clock I arrived in Areni at the Areni House B & B, very simple, very kind, the lady prepares me something to eat, but I’m not very appetite. Good night!
May 17, 2017 – 288 km, fifth day
Areni – Novarank – Meghri
I visit the Monastery of Novarank, an interesting Christian testimony of 1200 lies in a valley within a few miles of Areni. Then to the south, towards Meghri, up and down from 1000 to 2500 meters above sea level. The road is not bad, somebody does the maintenance! Halfway I met a Czech who returned from Iran, returning thought to take the boat from Batumi to Odessa or Bulgaria. Arrived at 16 at Meghri, at Haer B&B, in a very uncomfortable position to reach, peasants too, the room is a disgust. I’m being changed because it did not work Wi-Fi, Time is good and the temperatures are pleasant. In the evening snack under the porch, I drink a lot of tea. I’m always waiting to talk to Hossein for tomorrow!
May 18, 2017, sixth day
Agarak, Armenian / Iranian border
I got excited at the border, but unfortunately “shit shit” that can not be crap. Imagine if they did not find any problems with the documents. It’s about 13 o’clock, I’m waiting by 9 am, they sent out the documentation that the Consul gave me, via email, to the north border where I entered in May 2016 and they are waiting for an answer. I have lost the day and the problem is that tomorrow is friday and Hossein on friday does not work so I have to postpone entry to Iran on saturday morning, losing another day, also there is no Wi-Fi so I can not to communicate my situation to Hossein. About 16 o’clock I decide to go to nearby Agarak to take advantage of the Wi-Fi of some hotels, I find Hotel Elya about 1 km from the border and I can write to Hossein, then back to the border where at about 17.30 they call me because they had ok from the north, but they have to fill in forms and in my opinion they do not know what to write, but as dull they lose more time, I’m resigned. About 18.30 they let me go, but WITHOUT MOTORBIKE, the law imposes that I have to leave it in the car park! INCREDIBLE. Now I am in Agarak, at Hotel Elya, I will stay here for two nights, the room is not bad and Wi-Fi works well, dinner in the garden with würstel pot with potatoes and beer. Good night.
May 19, 2017, seventh day
Agarak, Armenian / Iranian border
Another day goes on. I see Iran across the river! I have to arrange for tomorrow morning, for a test I have walked up to the border, 1.5km, but with luggage I can not do it, I have to find a taxi, the bike is fine (although later I noticed that someone went up and plucked one of the side bags)!
In the afternoon walk to Agarak, from the vehicles that meet on the road, there is the idea of being in Russia, here everyone speaks Russian; some nice motorcycle bikes at a local workshop and on return I made friends with Aro, the owner of the Hotel, a 28-year-old guy who likes the stars! On the outskirts of the town there is an important molybdenum mine that works for a lot of people, extracted minerals sell it to Russians, but ecological consciousness also starts here where they begin to realize the pollution of the product and of the health consequences. Aro led me to see the stream flowing not far from the hotel and made me notice that there is no vegetation near the flowing water, all dead! Dined and paid everything (60 euros for 2 dinners, two nights with breakfast and a lunch) so tomorrow does not waste time. I agree with Aro who will be up to 8:15 in the morning at the border.
At the end, the day was not so bad, good night !!!
May 20, 2017 – 330 km, eighth day
Agarak – Urmia
Wake up at 7 am. A captain of the border guard who was a guest of the hotel accompanied me to the border, thanks Aro, this time seems like the good one, they let me go out of Armenia !!! The time has come, I’m in nobody’s land right at the beginning of the bridge joining Armenia and Iran, and I’m trying to spend time because I’m dating Hossein at 10am and now is just 9.15. I see the streets and the Iranian mountains a few hundred meters, what an emotion !.
Well, I met Hossein, who is doing the documents for my Carnet de Passage; it took a while, but at the end the documents are ready, Hossein in addition to my own also took over the CDP for a pair of German / Swiss boys, Magdalena e Benedict with the electric Tesla who are going to Kazakhstan and Central Asia! We travel together and we’ll all go at Hossein home, along the road to Urmia we stop taking photos / movies at Tesla, then I and Hossein are fast ahead of them. Arrived at Urmia, the first impact with a large Iranian city, the roads are not bad, traffic a bit messy but acceptable. Hossein’s parents’ home is very simple with a nice courtyard where breakfast is served each morning when guests are in a nearby building. The room where I sleep is their kitchen / living room, not bad, but it is communication with Hossein’s room and brother where the Swiss couple sleeps. After a quarter of an hour from our arrival, Hossein left and left us with his father and brother, his cute father, his brother, cute but so much stuff! Eat cookies and drink tea, in bed soon!
May 21, 2017 – 87 km, ninth day
Raised at 8am, breakfasted in the courtyard with all the company, with tea, carrot jam and a crunchy type. Then we made a jump with the electric car to activate the sim card of the phones, after which the electricians left for Tehran.
After several hesitation in Hossein, undecided about coming around with me, I took the bags off the bike and went to see the great salt lake, remarkable.
On the way back I finally ate in an Iranian restaurant, I felt the need to eat a bit normal: rice and kebabs, onions and tomatoes on the plate, all great, all kind and available, from the nearby table a young man got up and came to saying goodbye to me, “Welcome to Iran, let the world know that we are a people of peace!”, to shiver.
Later walking around the city to browse the shops and return to work on the bike and organization for tomorrow!
This night I touch the room with bunk beds ($ 20 a night), at least there is a bit of privacy.
May 22, 2017 – 600 km, tenth day
Urmia – Kermanshah
Had plenty of breakfast early enough and greeted the Hossein family. I left for 8:15, leaving the city Hossein accompanied me to the tourist office to take the IRN sticker.
Finally I’m in Iran ALONE !!!
Beautiful roads with little traffic, at the beginning of the town there are large amount of bribes. I am in western Azerbaijan, green hills and breathtaking views. I stopped to drink and photograph the panorama and immediately stopped a car with a family, a man wanted to photograph me with is little girl on the bike and offered me fruit and biscuits. Welcome to Iran seems like a password, from cars they greet everyone and look at me like a Martian. I am accustomed to the behavior of the Iranians in driving and slowly getting confidence in the bike, I must say that these first days of travel I was always afraid that something would not work on the bike, after being stopped for a year at extreme winter temperatures who knows, say that electronics is delicate !!! Everything works in wonder, every day becomes more “light”.
Arrived at Kermanshah I find it hard to find the hotel, I stoped on the main street and as I consult the navigator approaching a man who intends to help me (then tell me he is a bourgeois cop) he says if I want to go to sleep from him, he has his father’s house empty and can accompany me, no cost, meanwhile he also approaches his wife with his daughter and insist they will be fine but I have the problem of internet, I have to communicate, then they accompany me to a hotel not far away, the Azadegan Hotel (will be the most expensive of all the trip: 68 euros). Arriving in the room I hear the alarm of the bike being played, I look at the window and see all the hotel staff around the bike to take pictures, see me and they smile apologizing! Dinner at the hotel, I go to greet the bike and then in the room to prepare the stage for tomorrow, good night!
May 23, 2017 – 598 km, eleventh day
Kermanshah – Esfahan
It started at 8.45. The road runs along a plateau from 1400 to 2200 m above sea level with rocky mountain sides, the landscape changes according to altitude and cultivation, colors from green to brown. In small villages and towns the life is flowing, businesses give motion to people who, when leaving the country, seek taxi or passage to return to their homes. When I pass the cars people warmly say “welcome in Iran” and the young people with the bikes 125 come up and accompany me asking to sneak! Arrived at Esfahan, traffic and hot bestial, the refreshing Revi’t waistcoat looks fun, we’ll see better in the stage toward Shiraz. The hotels are all busy, and in the center, in the pedestrian area, there is a considerable chaos, also because there is an open yard to build the subway. Finally I find the “Saadi Hotel”, I’m going to park the bike in a garage not too far away and when I get back, “panic”, I can not find the iPhone, I go back to the road made and when I get to the garage the guy looks at me he says, is this your iPhone? I had forgotten it on the saddle of the bike. Walk and dinner in the “Venetian” restaurant and then deserved to sleep. Tomorrow I will turn around for this beautiful city.
May 24, 2017, twelfth day
I slept well. By 9 am already on the road to follow the advice of Jo, before I miss the opportunity to see the Zāyandé, the river of Isfahan, with the flowing water, the event seems more and more rare. The Iranians enjoy the river and the beautiful Khaju bridge that crosses it, along the shore the loving students are courteous, the elderly rest and families watch the children playing. Then with a nice walk I go to visit the impressive Masjed-e Shah Mosque with its domes and its mosaics. Two girls approach me and ask if we can talk a bit in English and exchange a bit of information, very pretty. Great, even the square with the fountain and the surrounding buildings, really beautiful, seems to have lived intensively by Iranian tourists. Then, not far away, I visit the Chehel Sotun Palace with the “40” wooden columns and its magnificent garden.
Tired I head to the hotel and eat a chicken in a take away, then hotel to recover energy and plan for tomorrow.
Towards 17.30 I go back to the river, she is full of people, they all seem to be well inside!
Then slowly approach me to the hotel where is the restaurant Shahrzad, say one of the best in Esfahan, within and see! Kebab, rice, non-alcoholic beer, salad. In short, quality does not seem to me much.
May 25, 2017 – 495 km, thirteen day
Esfahan – Shiraz
Breakfast at 8pm, then preparation, dressing and taxiing to the garage to take the beast: departure at 9 o’clock. Roads and highways with good road funds, poor traffic. Already before, but at this stage even more spaces become wider, the more ocher colors seem to go to the infinite! Stop to admire the scenery and drink, two Germans stopped, one with KTM 1190 and the other with Triumph Tiger, handshake and then traveling together for a hundred kilometers. We stop in a small town to buy apricots and while we eat we arrived a spanish with a BMW R1200 GS ADV last model, red, loaded like a donkey, directed to Pakistan and beyond, greets and runs away like a madman! We take the road and not lose them, risk of being left without gas! Fortunately I had the spare tan! I come to Shiraz at the Hotel Sasan, it’s not bad, but the internet works badly, I put my stuff in the room and then go out to eat something in a sort of take-away, lots of walking people and a lot of clothing stores and shoes, all the same, one attached to each other, they hurt! Tomorrow I’ll see if I change hotels! Good night!
May 26, 2017 – 126 km, fourteenth day
Shiraz – Persepolis – Shiraz
For laziness I decided to stay at the Sasan Hotel. Towards 9 am heading Persepolis with the light Dainese jacket and inside the refreshing Revit, it will be that it’s still in the morning, but it’s a wonder! At Persepolis I meet again the two Germans who are leaving, and Josè L Chefi Rico, the Spanish met yesterday who makes half a world tour in 4 months, a nice guy, is 60 years old and has just retired! We visit the beautiful ruins of the ancient city under a burning sun, and then we go back to the cool with a melon juice telling us a little about our stories, so let’s go back to Shiraz with the idea of calling us at 6 pm. But at the agreed time I can not contact him, (incomplete cell number) nothing, I go out to eat a really good kebab sandwich and then in the room, get up early tomorrow and see how the trip goes!
May 27, 2017 – 563 km, fifteenth day
Shiraz – Kerman
At 8:15 am I’m already out Shiraz! Long and warm stage, I put the Revit Poseidon jacket with the refreshing insert, not bad, when it really makes hot, the difference with the light Dainese it seems minimal, just do not stop! The temperature at 9 o’clock is already around 30 ° C, as it goes up, first on 36 ° then it reaches 40 ° C. Finally after 300 km a few bits of street with curves and breathtaking views, everything is ocher in color. I decided to stop at Kerman, for Shahdad there are still 150 km. I stay at Hotel Akhavan where there seems to be a nice atmosphere, 50 euros including dinner! The Internet works pretty well. I went to dinner at the restaurant meeting two Swiss ladies, one in 35 and the other around 55, traveling with public transport and saying that apart from imposing the veil, they are fine, we spend some time together and then we say goodbye. Good night.
May 28, 2017 – 255 km, sixteenth day
Kerman – Shahdad – Kerman
I woke up and calmly reached Shahdad. 125 km from Kerman, once out the city the road becomes ROAD! It rises from 1700 to almost 2700 meters above sea level, then descends quickly to 300 of Shahdad! As the temperature drops, it starts to rise from 32 to 40 degrees, then it seems to stabilize and instead climbs impressively, until the 42, 43 everything is almost ok, then you have to close the visor of the helmet because the air becomes torrid and as I approach Shahdad to start burning my hands, the handlebar rod transmits heat! I always stop drinking water every now and then in the village people look at me curious. Going to Shahdad Desert Camp, arrived and brought in by the only person on the spot (Closed in a Closed Cockpit), after falling out of the 49.5 ° C motion and doing some photo shoot, everything hangs: iPhone and GoPro, I can not hold the phone in hand, it burns! It makes it hard to breathe, nothing to do, I’ve come to the desired destination, but here you just can not stand, the season is too advanced! I raise my butts and returning to Kerman to enjoy the fresh room and schedule for tomorrow. I will have to change a little itinerary because I assume that Garmeh will also be so! I have to move a little from the desert area, tomorrow I go to Yazd and then north to Qom. I forgot, in the hotel I met Josè for the third time with his ADV very charged.
May 29, 2017 – 358 km, seventeenth day
Kerman – Yazd
Wake up at 7 o’clock at 7,50 am I greeted Josè starting for his long journey and I was leaving for my trip to Yazd. The heat is just bearable, I hope that going north temperatures will decrease! The road is beautiful, but the landscapes are desert and quite monotonous. I arrive at Yazd at 13.30, really heat, 41 ° C. The Silk Road Hotel where I thought I would stop, I propose a tiny room at $ 40, I contract with the guy who offers me accommodation at the Ali Baba Hotel, a short walk from Silk Road, 20 euros with breakfast! Very nice and typical. I take a ride around the city’s semi-deserted streets, among adobe houses, in a surreal atmosphere, silence is occasionally interrupted by the passage of some small rumbling motorcycle, right next to the hotel, the great Jame Mosque, all very fascinating . When I get back to the hotel I find myself company: Rudy, a seventy-year-old German psychologist who runs alone with a Yamaha SuperTeneré! We eat at the Silk Road and after we walk through Yazd’s streets, once we get back we go by the evening to chat with Saeed, the kid of the hotel, very nice. I decided to leave for Qom soon, I hope to wake up!
May 30, 2017 – 484 km, eighteenth day
Yazd – Qom
I woke up at 6 in the morning to leave early, but as always I start at 8th. Besides, it was so good to have breakfast with Rudy at Silk Road Hotel that I enjoyed it! I traveled well with the light Dainese jacket and the refreshing Revit interior. Still today, always the same landscapes except the last piece, on the way you hear that east is desert, the horizon is lost in the distance. Arrived at Qom at about 14pm, great hotel Olimpics, $ 40 with garage and perfect internet! I could park the bike inside, via a convenient hoist, a shame that is far from the city center! I take it calmly and rest, I clap pretty early in the hotel, chicken, rice and watermelon yogurt. Good night.
May 31, 2017 – 427 km, nineteenth day
Qom – Chaboksar
Alarm clock at 6.15. Teheran direction up to the airport, then I came out of the freeway and it was really nice! Significant traffic at the intersections, but I stopped by Karaj parts to make gas and I was surrounded by the operators, they wanted to take photos with me and the bike and then did not want me to pay for the gas. After a few tens of kilometers the road becomes more “European” with curves, climbing, descending, shame that it is very busy! Once the descent to the Caspian Sea has begun, I stop to rest and a gentle gentleman first invites me to dine at home and in the end, as my denial, he suggests a beautiful road crosses a great forest towards Marzanabad! Here is the Caspian Sea and finally Chabokshar, arrived at Gileboom Ecolodge at 5.30 pm I am welcomed by a group of cycling kids in ecstasy at the rush of the bike, the place is very special and the managers are really cute, the lodge has a large veranda on the front where in the evening I eat with them and with a Singapore girl, Yeen Nie, nice food and nice evening !. The room is very simple with many carpets and very little furniture, very “oriental”.
June 1, 2017 – 588 km, twentieth day
Chaboksar – Tabriz
Incredible, at 7:15, some thirty people arrived for breakfast! Busy bathrooms and lots of people around! They are all kind but I do not know how to get out !!! Well, here is not so hot anymore, I can start a little later and enjoy the day. Breakfast with Yeen Nie and then prepare for the trip, Mahin and her husband, at the time of departure, devote a sort of ceremony to wish me a good trip.
Surely the most beautiful departure ever, mostly filmed by a Singapore TV professional. When I left, I find the bestial citizen traffic in the first hundred miles, then the mountain starts and everything is fantastic! Beautiful road that climbs with perfect curves and breathtaking views! Do not believe it, really nice! The last 200 km of highway to Tabriz are beautiful too, I should stop every kilometer to photograph the landscape, the colors of the hills are amazing! I left late and arrived late at 19.15 on Sina Hotel, $ 33, not bad.
June 2, 2017, twenty-first day
Tabriz – Kandovan
Today is Friday and for Muslims it is like for us on Sunday, Hossein, who has to let me out of Iran does not work, I will meet him in the morning at Esendere, on the border with Turkey. Tabriz is all closed, even the famous bazaar. I walked quietly to the very clean streets, having a way to browse through the shops down the street, there is a party air, and the truck recently drifted the streets. Near a large mosque young and old are sitting on the benches, they seem to wait for the moment to enter, I go on and realize that there is a expectation, then to a big crossroads there is a crowd of people, with many of them in military uniforms and other religious dresses with turban, I ask and tell me they are gathering for Friday’s great prayer! They tell me it would be better for me, as unfaithful, I did not attend. I go on and come to visit the ancient Blue Mosque and after taking off my shoes I could admire the interior. I went back to the hotel and after I contracted the price ($ 20) I took a taxi and went to see the Kandovan troglodyte village, about forty miles, a little Iranian Matera, a pity that just arrived it started rain and temperature have dropped a lot, the resort is very touristy, but worth visiting, here I met a couple: Kourosh and Heyran of holiday from Tehran, after having shot together for the town we took a tee in a local, they are all curious to share impressions and opinions with people from other cultures. Upon returning the taxi driver Naser Baiani (09360337952 – firstname.lastname@example.org) took me to a city along the way back, to see an 1200 year old tree, then to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel and then plan for tomorrow. Good night!
June 3, 2017 – 441 km, twenty-two day
Tabriz – Esendere – Van
Woken at 6, showering, paid hotel, but I have to wait 7 for breakfast, meanwhile pull out the bike from the garage. I managed to go for 7.40! Go to Sero Esendere, the border with Turkey. From Tabriz I redirected the bridge over the salt lake of Urmia and then I continued with beautiful views to the border. By 11am arrived Hossein and I gave him the documents to validate. While I was expecting him, I met a very nice Iranian boy, Akbar. Now I’m waiting for the documents. Meanwhile, the time zone has changed, now at 11.30, Hossein has left and I’m waiting for the stamp on the passport. Okay, I have the exit stamp, I can go, I come to Turkey I’m impressed by the very “grand” and perfect border buildings that contrast with those of the Iranian side where there was more chaos and work in progress, Turks control the bike making it pass in a tunnel and then after having stamped my passport, away, I can go. As soon as you enter Turkey, the atmosphere changes, after the frontier the first towns have locking places with the Fries horses, the concrete blocks to make you zigzag and behind the soldiers with the helmet! We will go well! I am in Turkish Kurdistan, zero traffic, after a hundred km the atmosphere improves, on the hills along the road I have seen several curtains of UNICEF, probably Syrian refugees! I came to Van and did not find free hotels, in the end I happened to have a “mezza topaia”, anyway for one night it’s okay! The Turks are very nice, the owner and staff of the nearby Resmina hotel have given a lot to do to secure the bike. I booked with booking.com that again works, the hotel in Erzincan for tomorrow. I go out and go and try to eat something! It ends with water and biscuits. Night!
June 4, 2017 – 687 km, twenty-third day
Van – Erzincan
At 6.30 already on the go! The weather is nice, I had to stop putting the quilt, at 16°C it was cold! Very intense day, I followed maps.me and carried me among the villages lost in the mountains, from the parts of Yedisu, all very nice but after about eight hundred kilometers of road under construction the break-up of a big yard stopped me, I would have to go a hundred meters of mud high a palm but after the 2016 experience I do not feel it !!! A rush had offered to load the bike on its shovel and bring it to a safe area, but the yardman refused! I came back, I rebuilt the 60 kilometers of dirt road plus twenty fast white roads, finally found the asphalt, it seemed to fly. Arrived “Tired but Satisfied” in Üzümlü a small town near Erzincan, the Sefam Otel, perfect, to wash the dust and mud I entered dressed in the shower. In the nearby family restaurant I ate very well, all kind. Good night!
June 5, 2017 – 543 km, 24th day
Erzincan – Nevşehir
Depart at 8:45, I’ve been fine at this place! Back to the street, towards Cappadocia, somewhat monotonous landscapes, green hills, brown hills, green hills, brown hills! Roads are almost always good, a climb always between 900 and 2200 m. They made me a fine for speed, to me the limit was 110 km / h, I was traveling at 100 with active cruise control, they said that 110 is for cars, for motorcycles the limit is 90, and I I went to 99 km / h! Fanculo, 40 euros !!! I arrived at the Kapadokya Hill Hotel, 28 euros a night, beautiful, the most beautiful hotel on the whole trip, the staff welcomed me as a prince. Great dinner at the hotel with great service, it did! Tomorrow I’ll rest and take a tour organized by the hotel to visit Goreme and the natural park (30 euros including meal). Good night.
June 6, 2017, twenty-fifth day
Nevşehir – Goreme
Tourist day, sightseeing tour in various locations in the Goreme National Park area with the typical fairy fireplaces! Really very special. Nice day with new friends: Ken the Japanese, Michelle the Canadian and other Colombians, Chileans and Turks. Beautiful places, handicapped to perfection. Towards 16.30 again at the hotel to plan the trip. In the evening dinner with fizzy sauces! All very good, I forgot the breakfast this morning !!! A delicacy with their artichokes of carrots and figs! Mmmmmhhhh !!! Tomorrow I decided to take the direction of Duzce, towards Ankara. Then from there Alexandropolis but without going from Istanbul! Night!
June 7, 2017 – 511 km, twenty-sixth day
Nevşehir – Duzce
Alarm clock at 6.30. I paid 2 nights and 2 great dinners 88 euros. Always high quality breakfast at 8.20 pm. Journey a lot monotonous, the usual green and brown hills on the side of the road apart from crossing some towns. At 15.40 pm I am already at Otel Hatipoglu, 22 euros, room a bit small but not bad. There was an attack in Iran at Teheran, in Parliament and near the airport, on the road to Qom, a few days ago I was there (May 31st)! I went out to eat something, Elit 1990, let’s see how it goes! In the Ramadan period, to start eating the Turks expect to fire the cannon at 8.30 am and begin the song of the muezzin, then they abase to death! It’s a roadside experience, 25 Turkish lire (6 euros), all good.
June 8, 2017 – 622 km, twenty-seventh day
Duzce – Alexandroupolis
Departure at around 8.20. To avoid Istanbul I decided to cross the narrow Dardanelles and take the ferry to Gallipoli. Intense day, start with a little highway, then stop for work and then all the state road, first a piece just like once, then resume the usual two-lane highway. Arriving at Cardak I take the ferry to cross the Marmara Sea and land on the European coast. Emotion !!!, the navigators, both the Garmin and maps.me do not give me a good Ipsala border, as if it did not exist !!! They make me go to Edirne, with a lap of more then 200 km. However, I passed the two Turkish and Greek borders quickly, no one checked me to the customs, just a passport and a motorbike book. I am in Alexandropoulis, the Thalassa hotel is not bad though a bit pricey, 43 euro, I’m not used to European prices anymore! Wonderful dinner on the sea, at Milos restaurant, on the walk: 12,50 euro, fried squid and finally a nice glass of wine, very tasty. Now it’s raining, I’m waiting to see if it stops to returning to the hotel, there is the Greek background music. Back in the room! Good night.
June 9, 2017 – 683 km, twenty-eight day
Alexandroupolis – Igoumenitsa
I am in Europe, breakfast 5 euros !!!. Departed at 8.45th, state road like once then highway, then about 150km before Thessaloniki, again very beautiful road on the coast. Sea of a beautiful color, dry air. Overtaken by Thessaloniki stop on highway for beer sandwich. Last 200 km of highway. I arrived at Igoumenitsa at 17.40, I took the ticket to the terminal, ready for boarding, the ship to Ancona at 23 jetty 12. Now I’m 21, still 2 hours !!! I drank a tea and sneaked on the web, but it’s long! Embarked, well anchored the bike, but they are 00:08 and the ship has not yet started!
June 10, 2017 – 100 km, twenty-one day
Igoumenitsa – Ancona – Fabriano
We’re sailing, they’re 7,48, I just woke up, slept well. At 8.30 we are at Bari’s height. In the ship’s open desk, while eating the pistachios bought at Kandovan, reflecting on the emotions tried in the journey that is about to end, I reconsider the road, horizons, people, colors, smells and flavors that are now part of me.
“Welcome to Iran, let the world know that Iranians are a people of peace!” And a strong handshake, this is the first contact with an Iranian in Urmia. But the kindness of the people you encounter is common, on the street, in hotels, all available to help you and offer you something about them. Highlands with mountains at the sides and infinite spaces with the colors of the earth that send you serenity and the roar of the bike that makes you feel inside are strong, unforgettable emotions. I see in my eyes the long descents and ascents, the villages and towns with the frenetic people to live their lives, the beautiful Isfahan with the Iranians enjoying the river, Yazd’s adobe houses and the beautiful Mosque, the cozy Kerman hotel and the beautiful road to Shahdad with the temperatures rising kilometer after kilometer to 50 ° C. A feeling of warm, enveloping, almost exciting, a desire to stop, to take off your helmet and to breathe that torrid air that makes you boil the blood. But the things I see are many, too many for a few lines, I wish the pistachios would never end! Tomorrow I will be “home” again, where people love you, and when I go to my places I’ll see what I have always seen, but within me it will be different, I will be more aware of being alive.
I land calmly in Ancona, I still have problems with the telephony of 3, I buy a recharge in a small supermarket and then off, state roads to Fabriano where I will sleep in the usual Hotel 2000 of 2016 (50 €). Italian dinner in a nice little place with good red wine. Good night.
June 11, 2017 – 467 km, thirty day
Fabriano – La Spezia
The last day! Wake up at 6.40, outside there is a nice fresh air. I went to 8.30, no motorway. Provincial roads, a few blocks of state road but all with beautiful views, Nocera Umbra, Anghiari and for a perfect return: Bar dell’Orso in Monteriggioni, go with the picci all’aglione and the zuppa inglese.
I finally got home from Gloria. IRANIAN ADVENTURE ends here.
12700 km – 3700 (2016) + 9000 (2017).