Halfway to Somewhere- Summary

July 6, 2016

Link to interactive route map for Turkey here.


I am now in a small town called Tercan on the northern edge of Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. 


I've covered roughly 1400km in 15 cycling days. I am a day ahead of schedule. Feeling good after a rest day yesterday in Erzurum and the ride today, which was the easiest loaded 100km ride I have ever had.


I have some time to kill in my 'hotel' room which has cost about 8 pounds (perhaps I should be thinking in dollars or euros these days though- I'd feel like it was even more of a bargain).


The only foreign tourists that I have seen in a week have been other cyclist, heading in the opposite direction.  I've had nice chats with them whilst covertly checking out their set-ups. They had great stories to tell and were keen to get advice on Central Asia's particulars from me.


As I have the same distance again to Antalya, this seems like a good opportunity to summarize the ride thus far. However, I am thinking about pushing west as far as Pumukkale before the flight I have booked from Antalya to Aktau in Kazakhstan to re-enter Uzbekistan from the westernmost point, just east of where the Caspian sea becomes desert.


Some points of clarification first:


-An average cycling day has involved slowly packing both belongings and carbs in the morning. I am on holiday after all and I don't want to do myself a mischief.


-The screenshots below correspond to days 1 through 15 although I chose slightly longer, calmer route from Oltu south and then West on Day 14.


-I normally leave at 8-9am, stopping after 50km for whatever I have or can find for lunch and some shade.


-Rock up to a town at about 4-5pm and ask around for accommodation. Paying about 15 pound. 


-As one Belgian cyclist I met in Georgia said, "I am not a camper". But we both have gear accounting for about half our load of luggage 'just in case'.


-I'm carrying about 20kilos in front and rear panniers with an easily detachable handlbar bag, plus extras on the rear rack top, all on a heavy steel bike. It feels great though; I highly recommend the VSF TX-400, which I call Farhod.


DAY 1- Baku (Azerbaijan) to Qobustan. Sea level through yellow ocher plains and steady winding climbs.


DAY 2- Qobustan to Lahic. The high Caucasus reveal themselves. Valley ups and downs,  through fertile farm land.


DAY 3- Lahic to Oguz.

Forests and fairly flat. Small villages, all the way tracking mountains to the north.


DAY 4- Oguz to Kis.

Farmers display their produce at roadside.  Gradual climbs then suddenly up into Sheki.


DAY 5- Kis to Zaqatala. 
Rivers plunge from the mountains. The route is flat and pleasant on good roads.


DAY 6- Zaqatala to Signhaghi (Georgia).
Rolling farmland, tractors at the quiet border. Nasty dogs. 50km across a plain before the tough climb.


DAY 7- Signhaghi to Tbilisi.
Beautiful old town and then down, on a busy and dangerous road right in to the capitals centre.


DAY 8- Tbilisi to Ayrum (Armenia).
Steady but busy climb up and out. Change of scenery to rock formations at a gorges northern head.


DAY 9- Ayrum to Vanazdor.
Following the Debed canyon and river the wrong way. Tough climbs and thin road.


DAY 10- Vanazdor to Gyumri. 
A wonderful ride through stunning valleys, over pristine passes with views of Mount Ararat.


DAY 11- Vardzia to Posof (Turkey).
From a cliff face ancient city down to the garrisoned town of Akhaltsikhe. Into Turkey the hilly way.


DAY 12- Posof to Ardahan.
Major climbs. Roadworks. Rewarding riding from one high town to the next.


DAY 13- Ardahan to Oltu.
Steady climbing to Gole and then down, for 25km, back in to more stark surroundings.


DAY 14- Oltu to Erzurum.
A 2400m pass midway via the quieter D road south and then west across a plain before a fair bump to the city.


DAY 15- Erzurum to Tercan.
Easy riding with a nice tailwind. One big climb but the descent was longer and satisfying.




















Link to interactive route map for Turkey here.













Please reload

sharing is caring 


sharing is caring 

Please reload

useful links:


We buy lots of our bicycle touring gear through Chain Reaction Cycles and Amazon. We built this website using Wix. We may get a small commission from any purchases completed through these links, at no additional cost to you, which helps to cover some of the cost of running this website. :)

About Us

Niamh & Matthew - We are teachers working internationally. We met in Togo, West Africa and most recently lived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. We both love to travel and visit new places - especially by bike.

Read More

Search by tag:

Copyright 2019 by Pedalgogy