Georgia and Azerbaijan 7th - 16th November 1998

Merhaba

Yes I am still in Turkey but I have been out.

33-tblis 335-tbli I arrived in Tblisi Georgia late, it was dark when I met Devi who was also riding a boxer, although a Russian BMW-clone. He helped me to find a hotel and showed me around town, visiting the local radio-station and an artist who made some real nice pictures - I liked them a lot, I got a few very small ones and if I am lucky I one day will receive a real one - I really hope so. I kınd of liked Tblisi and the people I met there. The girls are beautiful and nice dressed up, first time I have seen that for a long time. I can't say much good about the country side since I was driving in the rain most of the time, but in other conditions I geuss it is beautiful

35-baku As you might remember I was heading out of Turkey to try to find my way down to Iran via Georgia and Azerbaijan - well It didn't work out the way I had hoped. The border to Iran was closed for people not from the region, that certainly ruined my day. I had almost come to the point where I liked border crossings, when I entered Georgia and Azerbaijan I was invited to have tea and there was less hassle as I experienced in the Americas, but here I was back in the real world, there were no way I could cross the border, they did not have the right stamps.

I had to go back to Baku and fly to Iran, because at the airport they had the right stamps. It didn't help anything that I had a transit visa and that neither the people at the embassy in Tblisi nor at the border into Azerbaijan knew that this border was closed to tall people. At the same time there were a heavy trafic of trucks from the neighboring countries, ıncluding Turkey crossing the border. Finally I gave up and started a 1200 km journey retracing my way back to Turkey.

36-melon Needless to say that this and the fact that it was raining has colored my view of Azerbaijan. Baku the capital is dirty clattered with oil-industry and while İ was there it rained so heavily that the street had turned into streams. On my way out of Azerbaijan I stayed at hotel which was so dirty that I could hardly breathe - well this is one of my known diseases, but this time it was worse than it has ever been. No I didn't like Azerbaijan at all, not that ıt seems a poor country, I have never seen so many bıg Mercedes and BMW's as in Baku not even in Germany, and it was mostly the expensive kind, which in Denmark only Turkish Taxi-drivers can afford but here they were all over.

I should have guessed it, when I had to cross the border from Azerbaijan back to Georgia I was looking at more troubles. My visa, being a on-entry visa had expired, so they wanted me to go the 500 km back to Baku and apply for a new visa, but 2 pictures of dead American presidents helped and I got in. Now I though I had the worst behind me and my mood was rising as I drove through Georgia, when the bike started to develop som new sounds and vibrations - of course my first thought was that the damn driveshaft had broken again, but when I examined it it looked OK, but it was only 40 km before Erzurum ın Turkey that truth came forth, when the gearbox exploded, no 5th lots of noise in 3rd and some noise in the other gears - a bearing had gone deep inside. I guess the bıke didn't like to stand unused for 3 years. Anyway another gearbox ıs on the way from Denmark and I hope it will arive real soon now.

It seems I am continuing collecting defeats, but a defeat is also a kind of victory since it is the sole proof that you have trıed - Try.

Peter Lorenzen Petersen
DK 9000 Aalborg
DANMARK
Phone (+45) 98 16 76 97
-- peter@lorenzen.us
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