Yerevan to Tbilisi, this time I followed a different route, first to Sevan and then onto the M4 all the way to the Georgian Border. Overall it was a much better road than the M6 which I had to go on because I visited the Haghpat Monastery. About half way to the border, I was in third in a line of cars and we came across a very slow truck being followed by a very slow battered old Lada. The first car which happened to be a police car started overtaking and the rest of us followed, just as I came abreast of the Lada the guy decided to pull out and overtake obviously without looking and he bangs into my right side pannier, I wobbled along for a bit, did not stop and then carried on with only minor damage to the pannier. This is not an isolated instance, it happens all the time, no one looks before they merge with traffic, overtake, pull out from a side street or when parked etc. But I did learn a trick that I heard other drivers using, blow you horn as a warming before and a couple of times as you are overtaking. I have a built in reluctance to using my horn at all but I had a very good incentive now to overcome that resistance and I had no trouble at all blasting away after that hahaha.
It took 3 hours to get to the border 35 minutes getting through both countries Immigration and Customs and another hour and a half to get to Tbilisi. When you leave Armenia you have to get the Customs form you were given when you entered stamped before you can go through Immigration. The guy pointed me at a building and I went in and stood in a queue for 15 minutes and then got told that it was the wrong queue and to turn around and go to Customs which was behind me hahaha, walked over there and there was no queue at all, the guy stamped the form and I was out. Rode my bike and joined the queue of cars for Immigration and got stamped out of the country. Georgia again took only 5 minutes, no one checked my panniers on either side and if it hadn’t been for me being in the wrong queue the whole process would only have taken 20 minutes. After that it was quite a busy 2 lane road all the way to Tbilisi.
I booked a hotel on the other side of the city because that’s where the bike shop where I am getting my new tyres fitted was located. I had ordered the tyres on 4 August 2018 when I was in Turkey, they had to come from Germany, arrived on 14 August and I had them fitted on 25 August 2018. I cannot speak highly enough of Graham who is the owner of Rushmore Motorcycles, he is from the UK and answered all my questions within an hour or two. The Showroom and workshop are immaculate, up to the standards of any developed country and he is a nice guy. There is no other facility like this in Azerbaijan, Georgia or Armenia and it is very reassuring to know that you have someone who is reliable and you can trust.
After initial contact I used WhatsApp to keep in touch +995 557 188 484.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook – Rushmore Motorcycles Georgia LLC
Webpage – https://rushmore-motorcycles.business.site/
So this visit was just a pit stop for new tyres and an Oil change which I did myself. The oil came from Rushmore as well, finding motorcycle oil is not as easy as it sounds, especially in these countries where there are very few motorcycles.