Bicycle touring Şavşat İlçesi: 5-4-2 rider attrition

We were still five people when we crossed from Ardanuç to Şavşat.

IMG_20210826_131859 by bryandkeith on flickr
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Bicycle touring Ardanuç İlçesi

Readers may recall that we left our heroes at a fancy hotel above Aydınköy, the beginning of their week in Ardanuç… As soon as Ferda and I arrived at the pansiyon, Hacer, Emek, and Görkem had cold beers and wine for us. In the afternoon we enjoyed the view from our balcony like this:

IMG_20210822_174140 by bryandkeith on flickr

In the morning it might look more like this:

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Narman, Oltu, and Olur to Ardanuç: a short bicycle adventure

From Narman we rode the main highway to Oltu where I thought there was a little bit to see. We found the castle,

IMG_20210815_121852 by bryandkeith on flickr

an old medrese,

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On the bicycle again: Kars to Narman

If you look quickly at a road map, you’ll see no direct roads west from Kars to Narman. The reason is, of course, the mountains — Allahuekber Mountains and the eponymous national park. Check more carefully, however, and it’s possible to string together village roads and unpaved mountain tracks. Sounds like a nice bicycle touring route, doesn’t it?

As a warmup, we started with about a day and a half of flat riding on the Kars Ovası (Kars Plains). The elevation (about 1900m) means that the temperature was pleasant even though it was the beginning of August.

IMG_20210807_152134 by bryandkeith on flickr
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Kars and Ani: the start of another bicycle tour

It took Ferda and me 26 hours to get (by bus) from Antalya to Kars. Emek and Görkem drove from Muğla, and Hacer took the bus from Mersin. We were the last of our group of five to arrive. I had been to Kars (the province (il)) twice before, but I had never been to the city of Kars. I was quite looking forward to it. For good reason, it turns out.

IMG_20210805_171334 by bryandkeith on flickr
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