Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Northern Asia

Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Refreshing, funny, informative, thought provoking, honest, inspirational, infectious, budget overlanding. A handbook, a guidebook but ultimately a genuine traveller’s tale

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 21 Apr 2010
Knight of the Holy Graal's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mantova, Italy
Posts: 560
Armenia and Georgia - Road conditions

I'm trying to search an alternative trip for my three weeks holiday in the summer.
I had already planned Morocco, but for some unexpected events I and my girlfriend most probably cannot go there.

Over the past two days, I have been searching a lot of infos about the beautiful Armenia and Georgia, but what worries me much (according to what I read in previous threads of this board also) is the matter of road conditions.
Can some of you guys who rode the area give me some indications about which are the best roads to ride on a huge HD Electra Glide there?
We'd mean to visit Gori and Tbilisi in Georgia + Yerevan, Lake Sevan, the temple of Garni, the Monastries of Tatev, Koravank and Khor Virap in Armenia.
Has somebody ever ridden those roads? Are they acceptably paved or are there potholes, "waves in tarmac" and so on?


More, are the customs proceedings between the two Countries quick or slow like the ones I experienced in Syria, Jordan or Russia?
Thanks you all for your advice and opinions.
__________________
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 21 Apr 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: perth western australia
Posts: 26
Not sure about Armenia but i rode through Georgia from Turkey in 07 and the roads were shocking.Once entering Georgia the road to Tblisi has long unpaved stretches that are very rough in places.Also remember something about border crossings between Armenia and Georgia being difficult as they're not great nieghbours...or is it Azerbijan?Can't quite recall exactly but it might be worth looking into.
Despite the roads i really enjoyed Georgia,its like going back in time.Tblisi is an eye opener too.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 21 Apr 2010
Knight of the Holy Graal's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mantova, Italy
Posts: 560
Thanks Liam79, but which is the particular stretch you rode in Georgia?

This

Your web browser and the Maps site are incompatible

could be my trip, to be made in 8 days.
__________________
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24 Apr 2010
dnicoletti's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: milan, italy
Posts: 152
road conditions

hi there,
i was been in the area, on 2002. roads were really bad. it tooks me a whole day to ride from the border (rize) to tbilisi; average speed 40 kph. a lot of unpaved strethces and an impressive amount of holes. but landscapes are gorgeous; expecially on the georgian military highway, wich lead from the capitol to vladikavkaz (closed russian border). also nice and "easy" is the route from gori to borjomi, and to vale (the counterpart of the posof turkish border). the road was (2002) unpaved for the last kms and deserted, but it run up and down on the hills. i did it with an harley, and you can do the same too...

regards

www.lungastrada.it
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24 Apr 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Monaco
Posts: 321
Tbilisi - Erevan - Stepanakert - Meghri was all good asphalt in 2009.
__________________
Gentleman Adventurer
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 24 Apr 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 604
I can only comment on Georgia. The place is changing fast, accounts from 2002 and 2007 are out of date.

I am currently in Sukhumi, came here from Azerbaijan. Following are the roads I've driven:

Lagodekhi - Tbilisi - mostly very good, some just goo, nothing bad.

Tbilisi - Gori - Kutaisi - Zugdidi almost all perfect asphalt

Zugdidi - Mestia (136km) starts off perfect, then just good, then bad, and keeps getting worse. Had to be towed out of knee-deep mud by a bulldozer!

Mestia - Ushguli Serious off-road work, but fun. Free cha-cha (local hooch) to impove driving abilities on the road as it hugs the sheer mountains side (no police around).

Zugdidi - Gali - Ochamchire Shockingly bad asphalt (it's a partially-deserted old warzone)

Ochamchire - Sukhumi Good asphalt.

Easy to take a car into Georgia, don't need insurace, but fuel is a little more than in the most of the former USSR, though less than Turkey (of course). Traffic police leave you alone, unlike AZ.

And Georgia is a wonderful, wonderful country. One of my favourites in my three year trip...

Hope this persuades you to go!

Daniel
__________________
4.5 years around Eurasia in a Toyota Hilux|http://eurasiaoverland.wordpress.com/
Pictures Here|https://picasaweb.google.com/113619413612674951960
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25 Apr 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 63
ello Daniel,

Thanks for the heads up on the Zugdidi - Mestia section. We had that in our plans for June. Do you think the road was that bad just because of a lot of rain lately, or is it just a very bad road, period. Any alternate route suggestions?

KP
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25 Apr 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 604
The road to Mestia is always a bumpy experience, but at this time of year as the snowmelt begins, mudslides are an everyday occurrence. I reckon by June it will be better, though don't expect a smooth ride... You'll make it OK though, people are pretty helpful here.

Daniel
__________________
4.5 years around Eurasia in a Toyota Hilux|http://eurasiaoverland.wordpress.com/
Pictures Here|https://picasaweb.google.com/113619413612674951960
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 25 Apr 2010
Knight of the Holy Graal's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mantova, Italy
Posts: 560
Thanks to everybody!
__________________
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 25 Apr 2010
Tiffany's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lands End, Cornwall, UK
Posts: 612
Smile Georgia and Armenia

I travelled through both countries last year and spent over three weeks in Georgia, as Daniel says, it's a fantastic country.

Some of the roads are a bit dodgy and it depends what kind of a rider you are as I've seen HD's travelling in the most unlikely places.

Avoid the southern route from Batumi to Vale if you're in that part of the country.

For crossing into Armenia, the best crossing seems to be the road due south of Marneuli. We crossed into Armenia to the west of there where the road was pretty bad and the Armenian border guards very shitty with us- to the extent that I had to claim to be a diplomatic chauffeur (on a very muddy BMW bike), long story, but I got away with it. The crossing took several hours. Returning to Georgia we used the other crossing and it was a lot more straight forward though beware as there is a customs fee to pay before leaving the country-as always I questioned the legality of it but which was actually backed up by a phone call to the US Embassy (another long story).
Armenia itself, well, what fantastic people and the scenery was great, I think all the roads you want to use are fine, some of the monasteries are at the top of curving mountain roads but the road surfaces are OK, just take your time.
Have fun and enjoy it.

Good luck
__________________
Tiffany
On the road from...I'm not sure any more
http://www.tiffanystravels.co.uk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAUhV1r-kUo
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 26 Apr 2010
Knight of the Holy Graal's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mantova, Italy
Posts: 560
Thanks Tiffany!

Well, I've been riding custom cycles and Electra Glides for the past 14 years all across Europe, European Russia, USA and the Middle East so I'm quite experienced, but I never rode dirt roads for long stretches (the last one just yesterday in the middle of a wood on the northern Italy's mountains but I'm talking about 1.5 miles only... but I never fell! ).

Your talking about Vale... The road we'd mean to take is the Posof/Vale border to Gori. You've been on that stretch? Thanks, my friend!
__________________
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 26 Apr 2010
dnicoletti's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: milan, italy
Posts: 152
road

the posof-vale border road it is doable at all.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 27 Apr 2010
Knight of the Holy Graal's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mantova, Italy
Posts: 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnicoletti View Post
the posof-vale border road it is doable at all.

Very good, Donato, this is what I wanted to read!
Now all the news you all gave me seem to push me to choose this trip and leave Lebanon (which was another option after being forced to cancel the Morocco trip) to the future.

After reading Travelbug's experiences here on the HUBB, I'm now also considering to exit Armenia at Meghri border thus riding two days on Iranian roads and having the chance to visit also Tabriz and Kandovan, the Iranian Cappadocia.
I already collected infos on the web saying that the road from Lake Sevan to Meghri is paved and doable with my bike, so why not try?
Visiting north-west Iran would give me the possibility to stop at Ishak Pasa Palace in Dogubayazit (TR), that is just on the way back to Italy: I only have to collect some news about the times it's open to tourists daily and then I'd say that our trip's route planning is over and paperwork for Iranian visas and Carnet de Passage can begin.

Look forward to visit those countries and contribute with my experience here on the HUBB!
__________________
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 4 May 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Poland
Posts: 155
I returned from Iran, Armenia and Georgia few days ago.
I passsed border in Nurduz-Meghri. About 1 hour of paperwork (I traveled without CPD) and 25 USD for car.
Armenian border is terrible. First f-----g soviet soldiers. I write soviet becouse this people didin't change. Soldier ask me why I'm so happy (I said becouse I,m traveler). He think that I must sceard him. Search car for knives, weapon or something like that.
Armenian visa 10 USD (for Polish). Next preparing documents for car for 5 hours, all the times problem with internet conection and they even don't know country Poland (he asked me about Portugal, Paraguay). No english, no german, no france only russians (I speak little).
53 USD for cars and 5 USD for custom officer (robbery)
Bad roads, bad signs, difficulty to find interesting places. But very interesting country worth to see.
Meghri-Kapan-Goris-Vayotsdzor-Yerevan bad roads
Yerevan-Sevan-very good roads
Sevan-Diljian-Vandzor-Bagratashen- not bad roads

Border Bagratashen-Sadakhlo
23 USD for car in Armenia (next robbery).
Don't take any petrol to Georgia. I had to turn back on neutral side and pour everything from roof tanks.
First we had to take many things to x-ray but after few minutes they stop all procedure and let us go (I think they understand we are travellers).
Very good main roads, all interesting places good signed. Good food and helpfull people and police.
Much works on secondary roads, wondrful Tbilisi, only few minutes on Sarpi border.
Georgian really care of their country. They really want to create free and independent country. We must help them to fight with the soviet system.
They build country but neighbour from north want to destroy everything.
Just drive in Armenia and Georgia and you will see what I mean.

Ok. I'm Polish so I know what is fighting with soviet occupant, but stop the politics.
My opinion: Armenia minus, Georgia big plus.
__________________
Bartosz
www.wyprawy4x4.com.pl
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 4 May 2010
Knight of the Holy Graal's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mantova, Italy
Posts: 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartosz View Post
I returned from Iran, Armenia and Georgia few days ago.
I passsed border in Nurduz-Meghri. About 1 hour of paperwork (I traveled without CPD) and 25 USD for car.
Armenian border is terrible. First f-----g soviet soldiers. I write soviet becouse this people didin't change. Soldier ask me why I'm so happy (I said becouse I,m traveler). He think that I must sceard him. Search car for knives, weapon or something like that.

Thanks, Bartosz, for sharing your experience!
Some uniformed people should really realize that we entered the 21st century already a decade ago and that we are not living the cold war times anymore...

Too bad to know road is bad between Meghri and Yerevan...
__________________
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Iran, Armenia, Georgia Bartosz Travellers Seeking Travellers 2 19 May 2011 15:50
Russia, Georgia, Armenia mattgrech Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 5 26 Feb 2010 10:05
Georgia to Armenia DUBAIPETE Route Planning 1 25 Jun 2007 11:59
Armenia - Georgia niels Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 6 23 May 2005 19:45
someone in armenia-georgia in may? niels Travellers Seeking Travellers 1 20 Apr 2005 22:08

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:47.