Wow, me and Bicio are traveling in time. The rural campaign took us 100 years back in time. And now, after about 60 km southward, we reached Gyumri and we dived in the 70′-80’s. Even the dress style of people recalls those times and everywhere: LADA, LADA and LADA … I love this car.
Gyumri and his people left me some sadness. The second Armenian city has been almost completely destroyed by the earthquake in 1988… the signs are still visible on the facades of the houses but also on the faces of the people … The town and its inhabitants seem to be abandoned to themselves.
The weather was not on my side so I stopped in Gyumri for 3 nights. Ophelia, the guest house keeper took care of me and she even read me the cards … Ophelia, the mapreader … wow!
In Armenia the road conditions are really bad … I quickly realized that the tour across the country villages I wanted to do, could become a torture … the best route? The highway. Positive in biking on the highway is that you never miss the exit. It was an “exotic” experience for me and clearly I was hoping …
… to not end up like this poor dog …
But, no danger: Armenian drivers are very respectful. After almost 90 km I began to feel a bit tired. But where to put the tent? Here it is all flat and there is HIM! How do I do if HE sees or feels me? HE … he is Gampr, the Armenian Gampr … and I assure you that when you see one of them running towards you, you start pedaling fast … very fast. These dogs can kill a bear and they can use my legs as a toothpick.
One day I met one very close. I could feel his warm humid breath on my right leg … everytime I think about it I burst out: the people on the roadside were all stuck like stockfishes with their opened mouths looking at the scene, maybe waiting to see who would emerge victorious … Gesùgiuseppemariamaddalena it was sooo close!
So I decided to stop in the next village and ask for permission to place my tent in the garden of somebody. I reached Sharam … and when you see this:
… you found this:
The tent remained in the backpack (again) and Bareck (on the back … I’m a poet) and his lovely family hosted me for one night. I spent a beautiful evening with these wonderful people.
Finally, I was on the way to Yerevan (1.2 Mio. inhabitants) … and there it is, with the mount Ararat on the right.
I admit that getting into the city made me increase the adrenaline: biking in the intense traffic, on a road of a total of 6 lanes, has made me climb a bit up the ego.
In Yerevan, me and Bicio we found us in the years 2000 … and I was almost feeling at home … almost.
Now I’m still in the capital waiting for the Iranian visa. Am I bored? Not at all! I will tell you more in the next post.
Un abbraccio, a presto