So, TGIF, the day is done and you’re pondering about the upcoming evening as well as the two upcoming days. Important: you have a motorcycle, and it is, afterall, a fun machine. So you want to have as much fun as possible during two days and an evening, to prepare for a wild biz week starting Monday.
Naturally, after a dinner you start with a visit to the Burnt Ministry (Varvac Ministrutyun, Վառված Մինիստրություն). You meet with the fellow motorized fun colleagues, discuss some motorbike–related topics and kick a sweet small ride across Yerevan and the suburbs, enjoying the dusk, the rumbling of the cruiser’s engine behind and the whizzing of the sportbike’s engine ahead.
You then schedule a ride to Ijevan for Saturday and go clubbing till 5 in the morning.
In the morning you pack and head out to start the Ijevan ride.
You move out at around 11, ride on the M4 across a freezing wind, and take a short lahmajo / tea break in Dilijan.
Then you warm up and start riding to Ijevan, around 40 kilometers.
In Ijevan you meet a friend who invites you to his house in Gandzakar, where you meet some very nice people.
And enjoy a freshly slain (sorry nature activists) lamb BBQ
With some home–produced vodka
And awesome stories.
You then receive a call from another friend who invites you to join him in Dilijan and ride a section to Sevan. So you ride back to Dilijan, join him with his car and his company, then on the Shorzha intersection you turn to stack up with more friends at Sevan.
You spend the night playing a guitar, watching the stars and the fire, and in the morning you swallow some wonderful omelet after watching a new boat being put into the lake.
Afterwards you receive a call inviting you to a racing event in Arzni, you pack again and head out to meet more friends
..and watch some outstanding fun action!!
You watch some very fast cars
Meet some very fast motorcycles
And of course meet me who has incidentally been also doing exactly everything that was described above!
Then you ride with me to Yerevan for a coctail at a favorite cafe, go home for a shower and just when you want to go back to more clubbing, you drop dead sleeping.
Great weekend: [ SUCCESS ]
In the morning we made more barbeque for our breakfast and started moving out. It was just about time because there were clouds gathering above and we thought we needed to outspeed the rain at all costs.
The first nasty thing happened just as I was riding out of the grain field — my bike slip off the edge and I hit a rock with the bottom of my oil tank, breaking two protectors. Fortunately no oil seemed to be leaking so we continued the way, though the incident really pissed me off.
We wanted to visit Haghpat on our way and take the Dilijan-Sevan road to Yerevan. So we headed for Haghpat and it was another amazing experience after yesterday – Alaverdi was such an amazing city with this heavy and addictive spirit of industrialism! Afterwards came Haghpat and the one word that came to my mind was — magnificent!
On the road from Vanadzor to Dilijan the rain started and it was pretty intense. This Vanadzor-Dilijan road, by the way, is great for some speedy riding: it is not straight and boring like the major highways in Armenia but with its minor curves it allows some nice pace. In Dilijan I was already pretty wet and had to take a cozy tea break with friends. But the rain was intensifying and the worst things lay ahead!
I changed my socks and got on the bike to ride the omnifamiliar Dilijan-Sevan-Yerevan sector. After thirty seconds I became as wet and uncomfortable as I was before my tea break. Then the rain got worse with more cars on the road and the trip became the wettest one in my life. I rode the Dilijan curves, up to the tunnel, then to the lake and just stopped as I physically could not ride no longer! My 50% waterproof leather coat completely gave up on the heavy rain and my shirt and pants felt like heavy cold water sponge all over my body. I was planning to just sit by the road and wait till the rain is over.
On the toughest part of the ride, with reported terrible storm and sheer cutting wind. Jaguar rode through it with no single piece of motorcycling gear except a helmet, leave alone any rain gear. The one thought that lingered in my mind at that time was that the bar of the capabilities of the human being are absolutely not where we foolishly think they are.
Through the insane conditions on the road and in the sky we finally made it to Yerevan for some shower and tea. The Odzun trip turned out to be an amazing experience and into amazing memories.
I always thought that I rarely travel north of Armenia. I somehow always perceived “north” to be cold and unfriendly, preferring the dusty Artashat highway that is so plain it makes you yawn and sing to yourself, pondering about the eternity. Oh well.
So we hit the road last weekend on Saturday, riding a nice and tidy Yerevan-Vanadzor-Alaverdi-Odzun-Dilijan-Sevan-Yerevan trip with camping.
Now, anyone who has read Tumanyan probably has this perception of Lori as some sort of a fantasy place. And I was so surprised to find out that Lori is in fact a much bigger fantasy than I expected it to be! Now I don’t know if it was the lucky weather or the adrenaline from the exciting curves of the narrow road, but the whole experience was so beautiful and rich in colors that I couldn’t help my jaw being dropped! Continue reading “Trip: Odzun – Dilijan. First Part.”