Energy Borders newsletter #3 | Read previous newsletters
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Newsletter #3

Part 2: Batumi (Georgia) > Nordooz (Iran)  

After 2,5 weeks of Caucasian adventures, we reached Iran a week ago. Time for an update! 

Green and mountainous Georgia was a good kick-start for our toughest cycling meters so far. Armenia is on average 1500 meters high and quite hot, which explains we didn't cycle as far as we were used to daily. Climbing steep mountains with temperatures over 40 degrees was made feasible by regular water wells, helpful locals and the most delicious fruits we ever tasted. The closer we got to Iran the more Iranian oil trucks we saw. We were approaching a fossil fuel super power.

Arriving in Batumi, Georgia, the end of a big oil pipeline coming from Baku, Azerbeidzjan, had already made us aware that fossil fuel can bring a wealth that is hard to compare with.

Georgia energy profile. Georgia is a country that has always been of strategic importance to other countries. A large part of its own population however, massively lost interest in the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union. More recently, poverty has been decreasing, relations with Russia are improving (a bit) and foreign investments are on the rise, continue reading.
Armenia energy profile. Armenia is a mountainous country located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. No less than 45% of Armenia’s electricity is generated in the Medzamor Nuclear Power Plant. After the large earthquake of 1988 the plant was closed. Years later the Armenian government to decide to reopen the plant. continue reading.
Is the energy future of Armenia in the hands of children? When former television-journalist Hrant Sargsyan comes to speak about the 1992-1994 energy crisis in Armenia, he wants to make sure we understand. Can we imagine what it’s like to survive a winter without energy to heat homes and city apartment buildings and to keep industries running? continue reading
Marijn, Debed Canyon, Armenia: "Let's take this one way mountain road to reach Unesco-heritage monastery Haghpat!" 1,5 hour later, Martine: "This was so worth it!" The most beautiful monastery I've ever seen. The next one I'll admire from the valley". 
On the top of the Meghri Pass, ready for the nicest and longest descent so far. 
Just after the Meghri Pass, no need to explain this...
Dog-tired after cycling away from Yerevan (Armenia) with plus 40 degrees celcius, we found this family willing to provide us with everything we needed and more. Part of the family for 24 hrs! 
Our travel statistics

The Iranian government does not seem to trust Garmin Connect, which is why we couldn't update the statistics ever since we arrived in Iran.

The combination of paper and open source digital maps have brought us to our destinations so far. Thanks to GPS we have been able to track our routes. We therefore know exactly how many kilometers we did per day, where we got lost, what temperature it was and what the elevation profile looks like. Are you a map freak like us? We share our track log and bicycle statistics on the energy borders website. 
PS - Ever since we arrived in Iran we weren't able to use Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully it works again in Turkmenistan. 
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