The border crossing into Iran

The border crossing into Iran

Crossing into Iran

While Yuri is being ushered in by one of the many men at the border, I am waiting in the van. I’m the only woman who is currently making the crossing and therefore get quite a lot of attention. I also look a bit too cheerfully dressed for the occasion, but at least they’ve something to share when they get home. 

The Armenian border

And so do we.

Let’s start at the beginning. The beginning; the Armenian border. And I write that while there is a lot of shouting behind me, men trying to show off their masculinity I pressume. It’s a border for trucks, that’s for sure. Thus, we stand out. Dutch people in a much too old van with much too cheerful clothes who don’t speak Russian or Farsi. That doesn’t happen everyday.

Anyways the start. So Armenia. The end actually, of a very long and happy time in a very beautiful country. And Armenia knows how to say goodbye, with the most beautiful peaks and greenest valley. But, all good things come to an end.

So, the first check. Passport, carregistration certificate, medical insurance, vaccination, PCR test. We have everything ready and think it’s easy to get through. Wrong. It also takes extra long because everyone starts a conversation with us. “Where do you come from?” “America?” “No Holland!” And immediately we make friends. The Netherlands is a very popular country it seems. 

Preparing for a border crossing

To cross a border, even with a Dutch passport, is always a hassle. In Europe we aren’t well prepared for borders and try our luck because we don’t need visa’s. We do need PCR tests (before being fully vaccinated) and sometimes borders are so small only locals are allowed to use them. But outside of Europe it’s better to be prepared. So, we always check what type of documents we need and arrange everything beforehand. Insurances, visa, Covid-19 regulations, car papers and so on. What do you need? Contact the countries embassy and you’ll always have the right information. 

A deserted customs

We drive on, another check. Again the same papers are requested and again we have everything ready. Still no stamp in the passport. I am asked to continue walking through some kind of border control, while Yuri can go back to the van. I end up in a hall whithout a single soul present. The border post is deserted, so I guess no stamp for me here. I walk around a bit in search of someone but no one is present. After a few minutes a young man walks in, in his jeans and simple T-shirt he takes a seat in a booth and asks for my passport with a smile. He blows some puffs of smoke through the cigarette that is still slanting in his mouth, the ash falls on my papers. He wipes it away like it doesn’t matter. And I think of all those people who have a passport that takes them nowhere and this passport with the coat of arms of the Netherlands at the front that takes me everywhere I want to go. And he’s so casual about it.

He looks at me again, smiles and gestures for me to continue walking. Meanwhile, Yuri has to empty almost the entire van and run it through a scanner. I wait for him for a moment and then Yuri and Alexine come through the gate. We are out of Armenia! At least we think so.

Out of Armenia

Well, we have one more check to go. Will we get a stamp this time? Yes! Again we hand over all the papers and bam, a stamp. Finally! Whoops, wrong stamp in my passport and so the officer places another stamp on top. It looks a bit like a drunken officer loving to stamp got a hold of my passport but whatever, we’re out of Armenia. Then we are checked again.

“Do you have alcohol? pork? Old money?” We answer no to everything. Not that they check anything. “You are from Holland, it’s okay” he says. What a privilege. Because we come from the Netherlands you can apparently trust us. Of course there are no bad people living in beautiful flat Holland. Right?

Anyway, we are out of Armenia. We’re half way through. Now, we’ve got the Iranian customs to go through. 

I put the headscarf a little tighter around my head, make sure I wear long sleeves and we’re ready.

And into Iran

Here we go. On the bridge crossing the natural border between Armenia and Iran, we are stopped again for a check. Oncoming traffic shouts happily at us “welcome to Iran” and take a picture of the van. That is of course not allowed but not that anyone really cares.

We are not yet in Iran, we still have a lot of stops to go, but we don’t know that yet. We drive onto the bridge, and then we end up in a traffic jam of trucks. “Where are you from?” everyone asks us. Our license plates do not show where we come from (they are old dark blue Dutch plates), so everyone looks up in surprise. They think the car is beautiful, and the sight of those two crazy Dutch people who take this border crossing is hilarious, apparently. They also find it surprising that we don’t speak Farsi. However, I do hear a hint of Turkish which surprises me.

We have arrived at the next checkpoint. Park the car and want to give our papers, but we are directed to the passenger hall. Three men are standing here talking to each other. They look up when we enter, but that’s about it. We look sheepishly at each other. “Passport, stamp, visa” I say. Sometimes I downgrade my English to a list of words in the hope that someone will understand what I want. It works. One of the men takes my passport, another watches the PCR test and yet another interferes with both. They discuss something and then return all the papers. “Insurance?” says one. I show that too. But it’s not enough. For Iran we need local insurance we are told. I don’t believe any of it, which I tell them. Our ANWB has clearly put “including Iran and Turkmenistan” on our papers. But he doesn’t want to listen, so we just do what we’re told. The insurance we have to buy extra costs €6 per person for one month. We get a nice pass and if I understand it correctly it has 1 million Rial on it. I am probably wrong, but it sounds like we won the lottery.

Surrounded by trucks and men

Ok, PCR test approved, insurance arranged (being double insured is never wrong), now we just need the stamp. We go to the next booth where they again inspect our visa (the same guys who did that 10 minutes ago). The stamp is put on our visa form and not in our passport. Pretty nice! Then we return to Alexine. A man asks for our passport and where we come from. Something that happens very often and I never understand. The passport is not clear enough I guess.

We can go on. But we’re not there yet. Alexine is surrounded by trucks and we almost die of exhaust fumes. Groups of men crowd around Alexine and I sit quietly while Yuri starts a conversation with the only person at this border crossing who speaks English. Finally, we are also asked for the Carnet de Passage, a document that we received 1 day before departure from Germany. Again we are allowed to drive a few meters further, where men start fighting each other because we are not let through. Or at least, that’s how it looks like when you’ve got men with too much testosterone. We drive on and Yuri is asked to go to the office, with the Carnet de Passage. Apparently we must have an Iranian number plate, but of course the workshop is closed. A man rushes to us “I can arrange something” and that’s our first encounter with the Iranian mentality. We have heard and read a lot about it, but in Iran (almost) everything is possible. In the meantime, I’m trying to get used to long sleeves, pants and a headscarf while it’s warm. Fortunately not sunny but still warm.

Two hours later and we are in Iran but not yet through the bureaucracy. Despite the fact that we have all the papers with us, it is still a hassle. Our passports obviously help a lot, despite the fact that we have a lot of stamps which makes them frown at occasionaly. But we are happy that we have arranged everything properly. They didn’t even check the van. 

After ten minutes of waiting we are allowed to continue driving, without license plates. Unfortunately we can’t get through another gate again because a stamp is missing. However, we have already made some friends and so after some shouting, laughter and ‘jallah’ we can continue.

2.5 hours later and we are in Iran! Even with the right papers it takes quite a long time. But “welcome to Iran”.

Love, Milene & Yuri

 

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A last goodbye

A last goodbye

A last goodbye

While the Dutch exuberantly celebrate King’s Day, we have prepared ourselves for the next adventure. And that adventure is called Iran! After many months of waiting and even a return to the Netherlands, the time has finally come. But not today.

Happy Kingsday!

What we also don’t do today is eating an orange tompouce or sell our way too many knick knacks on a rug in a busy city. Although we did think about it for a second. Of course we took way too much stuff with us, partly because we simply didn’t know what we had left in the van when we left her in Armenia. Especially in terms of clothing. And partly because, as always, we packed our bags completely unprepared a day before departure.

Well, the van has more space than you would think. It’s kind of like a Harry Potter tent. From the outside it barely fits two people, but when you step inside you will find five bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge set and dining table with 8 chairs. Alright, our van is still not that luxurious, but we’re still amazed at how much actually fits in her. Then we have to add that we did leave some clothes and unnecessary stuff at a campsite because we didn’t need it.

Okay, back to the trip.

Koningsdag

King’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April, the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander. The holiday was initially observed on 31 August 1885 as Prinsessedag or Princess’s Day, the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, then heir presumptive to the Dutch throne. On her accession in November 1890 the holiday acquired the name Koninginnedag, first celebrated on 31 August 1891.

Alexine struggles

So, no tompouce but we did eat some biscuits on the road this morning because they have delicious cookies and bread and other sweets here. So instead of a tompouce we ate another nice ponchik, we are big fans! That is also why we are happy that we are driving to Iran because they are not very healthy and good for our slim figures 😉 

What is good for our figure is Alexine. We have to shake her occasionally, push her and of course wash her many times. She doesn’t always cooperate, but that is almost never her fault. Where my curls go limp when I use the wrong shampoo and our stomach empties with the wrong food, Alexine does the same with the wrong petrol. And the wrong petrol can often be found here. Most Armenian cars run on LPG (gas), so petrol is sometimes mixed with water. Which makes Alexine sputter, and that’s her right. We would do the same if there was a little gasoline in our water. But, we have found a solution! (we think!) 

No more filling up an entirely empty tank, instead filling her up half way through, because of the dirt that can clog her and add some supplements after a refueling. She seems to be doing well again. We also replaced her fuel filter and flushed the pipes.

She drives like a charm, or well like a lady of 45. With patience and time we chug through the Armenian mountains. Not a big deal because the roads are not made for driving 120 km/h, sometimes even 80 km/h is too fast to avoid the potholes in the road. And when we don’t see the holes, we bounce like Pieter Post through the rough and barren landscape of this Christian country.

It’s time for a new adventure

And we do that now. Although we have left the rocky landscape behind us and we now drive through a high mountain range influenced by Scotland it seems. All around us white peaks and dark clouds, here and there a raindrop and sunbeam, and everywhere Iranian trucks that don’t chug but race. Home in time for the iftar. Ramadan will last a few more days and we are curious if we will experience some of it. First; get to the border. At the time of writing this is going well.

The mountains are high, but Alexine defies them with the mentality of a young mountain goat. Maybe a little less quickly, but certainly not with less enthusiasm. The cold wind from the plateau does her good, the motor remains nice and cool and the dry sunny weather ensures a good mood within ourselves.

We still have a long way to go, more than 100km, which takes us two hours according to Google Maps. Oh where would we be without Google Maps? Although, thanks to Google Maps, we sometimes end up on roads where you wipe the sweat from your forehead even with a 4×4. Well, two more hours and then we are still not in Iran, but a long way down. We will be doing a PCR test tomorrow morning and then hopefully at the end of the day enter the next country. Another step further. And we are so curious!

The culture, history, nature. The people, the food, the roads. Finally a country where Volkswagen vans form a club and parts can be found. We have been traveling in countries where Soviet cars are still leading the market for so long, it is a relief to see no Ladas but Opels and no Bukhanka but Volkswagen vans. Not because they aren’t fun, those Soviet cars are great looking. But it’s nice for Alexine and our wallet to see some recognizable German cars again.

Again I digress. A new country, new adventure, new story. From a Christian country where my hair is allowed to blow in the wind to an Islamic country where everything but my face should be covered. From a country at war with its neighbor and Russia keeping the peace to a country that has hardly any friends but does have nuclear weapons. It’s going to be interesting, awesome, and maybe a little exciting at times.

The stomachs will be filled with more delicious food, the hearts with the unprecedented kindness of the people and the eyes with all the beautiful mosques and historic buildings. We can’t wait! But yes, as said, at least two more hours, and add one more full day to that.

So much for our Armenian adventures. Time for some news!

Love Milene & Yuri

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Ready for part two

Ready for part two

Ready for part two

 

After being sick for four days, not eating at all, and having to go to the garage with Alexine we are finally ready for part two of the Silk Road Advanture. A good start is half the beginning, but so is a bad start, innit?

 

The abandoned textile factory

While I park the van, Yuri is on the phone with a guy called Karen. His father owns a textile factory in the village we are and we would like to visit it. You might think, why would you want to visit a textile factory? Well, this factory opened in 1976 (the year Alexine got built) and closed after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ever since it has been abandoned. And as most, we love untouched things. So we made a deal with Karen and not long after we met his father Hayk in Yeghegnadzor. 

The factory has never been opened again after closing. It didn’t have anything to do with the quality of clothes they were producing here but mostly with the wars (like Nagorno-Karabach) following the fall of the Soviet. Money was used to buy weapons not clothes. In the factory things have been left as if no years have passed since then, except for the dust and spider threads. Pictures of naked women adorn the insides of closets, books about Lenin are filling otherwise empty bookshelves and the hammer and sickle is drawn on one of the machines. The ground floor is filled with machines that once produced very cute children’s clothes, while the first floor is less packed. Here women clothes, like gloves, were made. They also produced protective clothing for a possible nuclear war in this factory. Thirty plus years ago they prepared for a nuclear war, we might need those clothes in the near future. 

After a small tour by Hayk we had coffee and ponchik (delicious Armenian deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with confiture or other sweet filling) and talked about his children and grandchildren, talking different languages and good music (he plays Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Rolling Stones on piano!). We had a wonderful time together and recommend everyone to do this “tour”.

Soviet Armenia

In late 1920, local communists came to power following an invasion of Armenia by the Soviet Red Army, and in 1922, Armenia became part of the Trans-Caucasian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1936, it became the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. Russia to this day stays an important ally to Armenia.

From Yeghegnadzor we drive about half an hour to Vernashen, not because it is so far away but because the road is in a bad shape.

Holes in the road made us zigzagging to the next village but Alexine doesn’t seem to mind, she’s found her power back, and so did I.

Let’s hike, cause when life gives you mountains you put on your boots and hike.

Hiking to Spitakavor church

I am here at a super cute church after walking for 1.5 hours and climbing quite a few meters. The view from here is magnificent, although the mountains hide behind a somewhat hazy weather, it is no less beautiful. The little church behind me is lucky with its view. Perhaps the reason that the monks once built it here. The birds are chirping and the bees are buzzing, unfortunately the sun has just disappeared behind the mountain and so I am shrouded in shadow. But it does not matter because after about 8 km of walking, of which the majority was quite steep up, it is nice to relax here.

And how lucky I am that I can go to places like this. That I have the ability and the heart to embark on an adventure like this.

After days of not moving it is so nice to walk again. Pumping my heart rate up, feeling the pain in my legs and shortness of breath from the exertion. It is wonderful to exhaust my body again, to be active and to switch off my thoughts. What a wealth this is. And it went very well, even after four days of not eating anything, almost not knowing where to look from dehydration and having slept for hours. I went like a mountain goat so quick, and felt almost as light as a feather. Once again my condition did not let me down.

At the end of the route we were invited to a farmer for some coffee. There was also food and of course a much too strong alcoholic drink. My throat was immediately on fire. It looked like the farmer himself already drank a few of them. The calves and bulls looked at us curiously while we ate the delicious cheese with bread and honey. A welcome feast after that big climb. It was a pleasant stop, but we decided to continue anyway, because we still have to reach the church.

And so we got there. Super cute, very small, old, with very nice details, like most Armenian churches. The view is the cherry on top of the cake. Although the mountains are somewhat poorly visible, the contours leave room for imagination.

It’s half past seven and we still have to go back. So after Yuri has recovered from hitting his head (nothing new) we start our way back. It is said that it takes us along a river and waterfalls. We still have 1.5 hours before dark. A race against the clock? Or a beautiful relaxing walk back? This time we are prepared: we did bring lights for the way back, we didn’t bring enough water for the way up. But we are getting there, slowly slowly 😉

The way back

From the church we decided to head another way back. One through the valley and gorge. We made the right choice. The route took us alongside the small river and it was so incredibly beautiful! All was green with little trees filled with white blossom, the rippling water, birds singing. No humans, just nature, views and a setting sun. As it was all downhill we went quite fast and even though the hiking route should be about 6 hours we did it a lot quicker. Though we took our time taking photos, video’s and enjoy the scenery.

Normally my knees would tell me to slow down but again, I felt as light as a feather. I guess the foodpoisening did me some good 😉 We walked through the gorge like we never stopped exploring, like we didn’t spend the last six months in the Netherlands. There is one difference, we do appreciate everything a lot more now. The fact that we can do this, that we can explore areas like this, that we are able to live like this. Even if it’s just for six months.

And so, we inhale the fresh air, take a deep breath and realise no one can take this away from us. Like mountain goats we jumped up and down the river stream, hiked past the deep gorge, over stones back to Alexine. Where we celebrate our first long (15km) hike with a beer and some snacks. Ready for more!

Check the slider below for some impressions of the hike.

Love, Milene & Yuri

 

Information

Where

Yeghegnadzor & Vernashen

The abandoned factory is in Yeghegnadzor and the hike to Spitakavor starts in Vernashen.

When

Not in winter

The factory you can actually visit in any time but best on a sunny day for the light. The hike is best from spring to fall. 

Who

Karen & Hayk

To visit the factory contact Karen (send message for contactdetails) he is the son of Hayk and speaks English. Hayk only speaks Armenian, Russing and a bit of German. 

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Probably one of the most touristy spots of Pakistan, normally we would ignore places like this and skip them. However, friends told us it’s definitely worth it so here we are, sitting in a jeep on a steep mountain waiting for people to clear a landslide. It just...

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A not so smooth reunification

A not so smooth reunification

A not so smooth reunification

 

For a couple of days we’ve been reunited with each other and Alexine but things don’t go as planned, neither do they go so smoothly. 

 

Foodpoisoning

While I sit here after five days of struggling with food poisoning (thanks to Royal Jordanian Airways), Yuri is cutting some lovely old cheese. Cheese that I can’t eat, but the smell.. It’s probably one of the best scents in the world; the smell of good ol’ cheese. But, like I wrote; food poisoning. Not a great way to start the second leg of our Silk Road trip with but, at least it can’t get any worse than this.

We have been sleeping in Alexine for a couple of nights already and it feels like we never left her. She thought a bit different about it though. Alright, it wasn’t all bad, even only looking at her made her almost start the engine right away. But afterwards we had to climb a steep, very steep hill and that she didn’t think was a great idea. But with some pushes, really, she made it up to the top and on to the campsite of Camping 3Gs.

Things never go as planned

Marco Polo had to diverse from his route many times due to disruptions or otherwise obstacles on the road, we have the same. We were actually planning on going to Iran this week but something came in between. Not only my food poisoning but also something else. Our dear friends Kevo and Tamara, who we met last time we were in Armenia, are getting married at the end of this month and invited us to celebrate with them. Well, how we can say no to that?

So, Iran has to wait! Again.. but this time by our own choosing.

And, me not feeling very well, I’m alright with postponing travels a little bit. Hopefully I feel better soon and we can continue exploring the rest of Armenia.

We do however have a great time being back. Camping 3Gs, especially Sandra – the owner, is a gem and we’ve been glad to start our journey here. The last couple of days mainly consisted of sleeping, working (a bit), eating (Yuri) and doing absolutely nothing. Yesterday we were invited to a birthday bash, which was quite nice. Yuri got to drink with the local men who weren’t as easily beaten in the drinking game. We didn’t get to see who would first fall under the spell of alcohol and be called drunk as I really needed to get back to my bed. Unfortunately I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted to but tried some bits and pieces. Which of course I regretted later on, but let’s not zoom into that! 

For now, that’s about it. We are planning on exploring different parts of Armenia soon. We’re quite curious to see in what state Alexine is. Is she as in a state like mine? Or ready for a new adventure like Yuri is? We will see and keep you up to date of course. 

Love, Milene & Yuri

 

Check our latest blogs

The heart of Pakistan

The heart of Pakistan

We end our beautiful Pakistan trip in the heart of the country. Let’s expLahore the city of culture, spicy food and history.

The way to Fairy Meadows

The way to Fairy Meadows

Probably one of the most touristy spots of Pakistan, normally we would ignore places like this and skip them. However, friends told us it’s definitely worth it so here we are, sitting in a jeep on a steep mountain waiting for people to clear a landslide. It just...

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Staying at a 700 year old caravanserai

Staying at a 700 year old caravanserai

We are staying at a caravanserai tonight. A hotel / restaurant where travellers would spend the night, giving their camels and horses some rest and catch up with other travellers about the way ahead. This Caravanserai is the best preserved one in Armenia and was built in 1332. That’s almost 700 years ago! 

We take a zip of our wine and look at the thousand of stars in the big black sky. Almost 700 years ago travellers like Marco Polo would take shelter here, maybe they looked at the same stars as we are. The wind is cold. And probably that hasn’t changed as well. The caravanserai is built without a courtyard so it would keep the people and animals warm during the icy nights. Marco Polo never got to see this marvellous place, he travelled the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295. 

It’s impressive that after 700 years this building is still standing! And in comparison to the Anatolian caravanserais this one isn’t converted into a hip restaurant or hotel. It is still like it was 700 years ago, and that’s why history is still alive here.

While we walked through the building we imagine merchants and travellers getting together here like in nowadays hostels. Where camels and horses stood drinking, eating and happy to take a rest. Where men slept in the same area without knowing each other while the fire kept them warm. Stories, cultures and knowledge were exchanged, goods were traded and all were equal.

We see some stars falling through our atmosphere, a chill down the spine because of the cold wind and in the distance we see the lights of the nearby village twinkle. Yes, some things have changed in 700 years. There are now villages in the gorge, as there is internet on the pass and in the day one can find a lovely couple with their mobile market (lada full with goods) selling their goods day in day out.

How awesome is it that 700 years after the building of this incredible place we stay here for the night and in the day a merchant couple comes to sell their goods. We also met a young priest and his friend and exchanged stories. It doesn’t matter where your from, it doesn’t matter in which time you live, humans are humans. This place was built to bring people together and that’s what it still does 700 years later.

Love, Milene & Yuri

Religion, war and waste management

Religion, war and waste management

The morning sun is a welcoming guest high up in the mountains. We are now at almost 2500 meters above sea level and the wind carries the cold air into the van. Great for sleeping, a little less for cooking and living outside. But, we are Dutchies, thus no cold air can prevent us from living our life’s outside. And the sun is shining so what are we complaining about?!

Today we’ll be looking back at the past few days. They were intense, a lot of driving, visiting new places and finding spots to sleep.

Visiting the most famous Armenian monastery

We visited Tatev monastery. Probably the most famous monastery of Armenia, not the most pretty one though. But, at Tatev monastery you can walk through the ancient bishop chambers and that’s a lot of fun! The church itself is not that interesting so we didn’t stay too long. We slept on the parking lot of the ‘wings of Tatev’, the longest cable car of the world, thus holds a Guinness book of records. Even though parking lots aren’t that idyllic, we did have a toilet we could use and in the night they closed the gates so no visitors. Except for some dogs, cats and horses.

The next day we continued our route in the direction of Goris and beyond. Driving towards Azerbaijan, but just before we visited Old Khndzoresk, a cave city. The main interesting part of the city is that is was last inhabited in 1975 – as a local told us. The government didn’t think it would be good for the people to continue living in caves so they were moved to the top of the gorge. There isn’t much to see what we didn’t already see elsewhere but we had a good hike up and down the village and crossing a huge handmade hanging bridge.

We returned to the car and moved towards a waterfall. A pretty nice and rather big waterfall, the first one we’ve seen in Armenia. It’s quite dry here in the south, the landscape is bare and rocky. Trees can be found in the gorges but most of the landscape looks like the Wild West of the USA (never been there but we’re comparing it to movies and series we’ve seen). Actually it does feel a bit like driving through the scene of Westworld. But this ain’t a game where people can experience the wild west. Or maybe it is. 

Dispute over land kills people

A couple of days ago an Armenian soldier got shot by an Azerbaijani sniper in an area where we just drove through. It feels surreal, enjoying the beautiful landscape, driving from highlight to highlight while soldiers are being killed because of a war over land. It’s the same story over and over again. Whether it’s in Israël/Palestina, the Krim/Russia or Armenia/Azerbaijan. We fight over land and what’s below it. People die, people become homeless and we keep discussing who was first on the land that should be home to everyone.

We’ve visited churches centuries old, a caravanserai from 1332, standing stones dating back to 7.500 years… Often we see Armenian inscriptions on these man made sights. The first Armenian state was established in 860 BC. Azerbaijan being founded in 1918, you can imagine to whom the land truly belongs. Apparently it’s too easy to look at it this way. Anyway, the interference of the USSR and especially the fall of the Soviet Union didn’t help in the dispute over land. The people lived rather peacefully together during the Soviet Union, after the fall wars broke out. Newly erected governments wanted more land for themselves, not thinking about the people living there. All over the pre Soviet states war started. In most cases it ended quickly, but in some like Armenia and Azerbaijan it didn’t. And we’re not sure it ever will. 

Not something we can solve in this blog post so let’s continue for now. Can’t promise it won’t come back in another blog though.

We found a very nice place to stay for the night near the waterfall. Though we did have to clean the area and after collecting three bags of waste in 15 minutes we thought it clean enough to relax.

The problem of waste

Waste is another big problem. It might kill more living things than war does. And it can be found everywhere. Seriously, since we left The Netherlands we’ve seen so much waste lying around. It’s so sad, sometimes we hardly see the flowers through the waste. When we camp in the wild we often need to clean the area to be able to enjoy nature and not be surrounded by so much waste. So we decided to make waste collecting cool. Though we don’t know how yet. Any ideas? 

Love, Milene & Yuri