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    Archive for August, 2006

    Day 144 – The beauty of Samarkand

    Thursday, August 31st, 2006

    0 km etc.

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    Day 143 – The inner boxing fight

    Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

    Rest day in Samarkand…

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    Uzbekistan update (quickie!)

    Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

    Just to let you know that I’m now in Samarkand, Uzbekistan and having a good time though I’m having a big fight with the quirky internetcafés around here. Arrived here yesterday after a long 165 km day through cotton fields and otherwise desolate landscapes.

    Be back soon on the Diary section. Am trying to throw in some photos as well.

    Till then – Nicolai

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    Day 142 – The Marathon day

    Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

    Navoiy -> Samarkand
    Distance (km) : 165
    Time on bike : 8h 11m
    Average speed : 20.18 km/h
    Total (km) : 7825

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    Day 141 – When the tail curls…

    Monday, August 28th, 2006

    Bukhara -> Navoiy (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 128
    Time on bike : 6h 19m
    Average speed : 20.10 km/h
    Total (km) : 7659

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    Day 140 – Relaxing as a reptile…

    Sunday, August 27th, 2006

    Sorry, but this post is not available in English

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    Day 139 – The Silk Road Pearl of Bukhara

    Saturday, August 26th, 2006

    0 km etc.

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    Day 138 – That bloody head wind…

    Friday, August 25th, 2006

    Olot -> Bukhara (homestay)
    Distance (km) : 79
    Time on bike : 4h 54m (all headwind!)
    Average speed : 16.02 km/h
    Total (km) : 7532

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    Day 137 – I´m free again (in Uzbekistan)!

    Thursday, August 24th, 2006

    Mary (Turkmenistan) -> Olot (Uz)(marshrutka and bicycle, private acc.)
    Distance (km) : 69
    Time on bike : 4h 15m
    Average speed : 16.34 km/h
    Total (km) : 7453

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    Day 136 – Serving my home country…

    Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

    Ashgabat -> Mary
    (hotel)Daytrip: 15 kmDagtur: 15 km

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    Day 135 – President Niyazovs Ashgabat

    Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

    Sorry, but this post is not available in English

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    Day 134 – Among camels in the Turkmen dessert…

    Monday, August 21st, 2006

    Turkmenbashi -> Balkanabat
    Distance (km) : 64
    Time on bike : 2h 51m
    Average speed : 22.10 km/h
    Total (km) : 7370

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    Day 133 – Across the Caspian

    Sunday, August 20th, 2006

    Sorry, but this post is not available in English

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    Photos from Georgia & Azerbaijan

    Saturday, August 19th, 2006

    Check out the photo highlights from Georgia & Azerbaijan here!

    See the other photos from Georgia & Azerbaijan here!

    I’ve now made a bit of a clean-up in the Turkey photos…

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    Day 132 – Concrete head in Baku

    Saturday, August 19th, 2006

    Sorry, but this post is not available in English

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    I’m off to Turkmenistan…

    Saturday, August 19th, 2006

    It’s time for me to leave Caucasus as I’m hopefully getting onboard the Turkmenistan ferry tomorrow across the Caspian Sea. I might be a rare guest in WT-territory in the 5 days that my transit visa allows me to be in the country. Internet is a rarity in Turkmenistan so I guess I’ll be pretty quiet until I reach Uzbekistan.

    Mentally I’m really ready for Central Asia now but the body’s been weak and my head’s been feeling like a ball of concrete the last 2 days here in the Azeri capital Baku. Too bad ‘cos I wanted to explore this oil boom town but c’est la vie

    Till then and – as a fellow cyclist said – keep’em words coming, they keep me going!

    Nicolai

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    Day 131 – Back in the WT HQ!

    Friday, August 18th, 2006

    Sorry, but this post is not available in English

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    Arrival Baku at the Caspian! (7286 km)

    Friday, August 18th, 2006

    Just to announce that I’m now in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan at the Caspian Sea. Since I left Georgia 5 days ago the journey went through more than 500 km of green flatlands and semidesert – a very hot experience. Everywhere people have been very generous to me and offered me whatever they could (apples, food, accomodation, smiles) and it sure has been a great thing for me to cross the country even though I chose the direct, monotonous road away from the mountains…

    I’ve now installed myself in a hotel room and I really enjoy the luxury of actually being able to decide when those curoius looks and tongues have access to me. The legs and the mind need a bit of a rest, the home page an update, the bicycle a small tune-up before the next leg of the expedition that begins in just 3 days on the other side of the Caspian in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan – I’m so excited about that!

    The uninspiring yet fascinating lowlands of Azerbaijan...

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    Day 130 – The bobling sounds of the mud volcanoes…

    Thursday, August 17th, 2006

    Qobustan -> Baku (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 63
    Time on bike : 3h 52m!
    Average speed : 16.29 km/h
    Total (km) : 7286

    Mr. Cap driver (Qobustan style!)

    Mud volcanoes near Qobustan, Azerbaijan

    IMG_1204

    What a weird place!

    Mud drying up near Qobustan...

    Petroglyffs near Qobustan, Azerbaijan

    Museum, Qobustan...

    Road sign north of Qobustan...

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    Day 129 – When The Lights Go Out…

    Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

    Kürdämir -> Qobustan (family acc.)
    Distance (km) : 147
    Time on bike : 8h 42m!
    Average speed : 17.03 km/h
    Total (km) : 7223

    The mosquitoes made me pitch the tent inside the restaurant though the temperature was scorching...

    Typical store in Azerbaijan.

    Setting sun behind the gentle hills next to the Caspian. Ätät, Azerbaijan

    Wrapping of the Day: This one…

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    Day 128 – 7 spinning sessions in a day…(40 degrees C)

    Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

    Ganca -> Kurdamir (tent inside road side restaurant!)
    Distance (km) : 164
    Time on bike : 7h 5m
    Average speed : 23.11 km/h
    Total (km) : 7076

    Cigarette selling man in Ganca, Azerbaijan.

    Ganca's impressive Town Hall built during the Sovjet era...

    The Azeri cows are having a hot time as well!

    Azeraluminium factory outside Ganca, Western Azerbaijan

    The noon heat in central Azerbaijan in August is very hot!

    Pleasant evening drive across the Azeri flatlands...

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    Day 127 – You don’t say no to a meal, do you?

    Monday, August 14th, 2006

    Krasny Most (Georgia) -> Ganca (Azerbaijan)
    Distance (km) : 154
    Time on bike : 7h 42m
    Average speed : 20.01 km/h
    Total (km) : 6912

    Azerbaijan!!!

    Baki/Baku - here I come!

    Kapaz Hotel, Ganca, Western Azerbaijan.

    This is what you get for 10 USD at the USSR-era Kapaz Hotel in Ganca, Azerbaijan! No running water (of course)

    Classy night cap in Ganca, Azerbaijan.

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    Day 126 – A night at the border…

    Sunday, August 13th, 2006

    Tbilisi -> Krasny Most (family acc., Georgian and Azeri border)
    Distance (km) : 63
    Time on bike : 3h 21m
    Average speed : 18.80 km/h
    Total (km) : 6758

    Tonight´s

    Father Ali's daughter, Krasny Most - Georgia

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    The milestones (photos)

    Saturday, August 12th, 2006

    A new little entry under the Bits & Pieces…Click here…

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    Day 125 – Back in Tbilisi

    Saturday, August 12th, 2006

    0 km etc.

    Mercedes lift from Kazbegi back to Tbilisi.

    Nasi's Guesthouse in central Tbilisi...

    The last house rule at Nasi in Tbilisi has absolutely no relevance for the Bronze Monk in me...

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    Day 124 – Trekking in Caucasus

    Friday, August 11th, 2006

    Stunning views from Kazbegi town...

    Good old Stalin's still watching you anno 2006!

    Vano's Place in Kazbegi. Spartan yet cosy!

    Flowers near Mt. Kazbegi (5047 m)

    Wonderful Mt. Kazbegi in The Greater Caucasus mountain range on the Georgian/Russian border...

    The massive Gergeti glacier next to Mt. Kazbek

    The Tsminda Sameba church, Kazbegi

    The Tsminda Sameba church, Kazbegi

    Khinkali - local dish in Georgia.

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    Day 123 – Funeral ceremoni in Sno village

    Thursday, August 10th, 2006

    Georgian funeral in the village Sno. August 2006.

    Funeral in Sno village...

    Dinner after the funeral in Sno village.

    Happy pig!

    Arsha village near Kazbegi, Georgia.

    Click here to read all previous diary entries by Nicolai

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    Day 122 – Surprises in the Caucasian mountains

    Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

    Wollen hat

    Arsha village, Georgian Caucasus

    Rustic Sno village, Caucasus.

    The day before the funeral in Sno village.

    Dinner with my Georgian host family...

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    Day 121 – Play with water…

    Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

    Narikala Castle above Tbilisi city center...

    The underground sulphur baths in Tbilisi, Georgia. A pure delight!

    Tbilisi Old Town.

    Boy playing with the water in hot Tbilisi, Georgia.

    Should or should not...?

    Should!

    A proud mother...

    Play with water...

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    New photos from Georgia in the photo album…

    Monday, August 7th, 2006

    Fresh photos from Georgia! The Turkey pictures will soon be ready as well. Click on “View as slideshow”

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    Martin home from the expedition

    Monday, August 7th, 2006

    Because of several personal reasons I have choosen to stop my part of the expedition and return home. Unfortunately sometimes things happen which you can’t forsee or plan for. I have to say that even if I have to leave Nicolai alone on the tour I’m happy to return back to Denmark again.

    Of course I’ll still follow the tour and give Nicolai all the support I can (e.g. with the homepage) but I have to do it from home.

    I would like to thank for the support we have receive and I will now, like the rest of you, follow Nicolai’s fantastic trip and experiences through his diary.

    Mt. AraratLast photo in the last town I was in together with Nicolai : Mt. Ararat
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    Day 120 – Anonymous in the capital…

    Monday, August 7th, 2006

    Whatever!

    Tranzit movement in Tbilisi is prohibited! OK then, I´ll just stay then...

    Chilling out at Nasi's homestay in Tbilisi, Georgia

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    Tbilisi, Georgia!

    Sunday, August 6th, 2006

    Just a short notice after the long silence. I’m now in Tbilisi, Georgia and I’m very excited about being here (6700 km since Denmark). But I’m tired, tired, tired after 10 mountanious cycling days since Tatvan at the Van Lake in Turkey and I really need a big rest now. Have been riding 1000 km in those 10 days and big things have happened in the WT Camp that will soon be announced…So long! Nicolai

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    Day 119 – Ram sacrifice at the Cave City…

    Sunday, August 6th, 2006

    Gori -> Tbilisi (homestay)
    Distance (km) : 116
    Time on bike : 6h 01m
    Average speed : 19.78 km/h
    Total (km) : 6694

    Uplistsikhe Cave City near Gori, Georgia

    Uplistsikhe Cave City near Gori, Georgia

    Uplistsikhe Cave City near Gori, Georgia

    Your days are over, buddy!

    Church at Uplistsikhe Cave City

    Ram getting sacrified at the Mtkvari River.

    One ram down!

    Poor creature!

    The Ace Ventura in me didn't really like the sight of this...

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    Day 118 – Gori – Stalins home town…

    Saturday, August 5th, 2006

    Atskuri -> Gori (majestic Sovjet-era hotel, faded grandeur)
    Distance (km) : 115
    Time on bike : 5h 57m
    Average speed : 19.38 km/h
    Total (km) : 6579

    Nice cycling along the Mtkvari River, Western Georgia.

    The Child of The City of Gori: Josef Stalin was born and raised here and today respected as a hero around here...

    Hotel Intourist and the central square on a saturday night in Gori, Georgia.

    Entry hall at the Hotel Intourist in Gori, Georgia.

    Room #14 at the terribly neglected Hotel Intourist, Gori, Georgia.

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    Day 117 – Georgia, I´m all yours!

    Friday, August 4th, 2006

    Posof (Turkey) -> Atskuri (Georgia, private acc.)
    Distance (km) : 60
    Time on bike : 3h 30m
    Average speed : 17.07 km/h
    Total (km) : 6463

    Georgia, here I come!

    First impressions of Georgia...

    Georgian Sovjet-era house...

    Georgian house, Georgian style.

    Georgian hospitality rules supreme! Atskuri village.

    The wonderful family in Atskuri!

    First class sleeping in the Georgian family house...

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    Day 116 – Hailstorm on the mountain pass…

    Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

    Akcakale -> Posof (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 115
    Time on bike : 6h 20m
    Average speed : 18.19 km/h
    Total (km) : 6404

    Not a bad morning to wake up! Lake Cildir, Turkey.

    Cildir woman, Turkey

    Barren landscape near Cildir, Northeastern Turkey.

    Studying the Caucasus map yet again, Nicolai!

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    Day 115 – Ani, wonderful Ani!

    Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

    Ocakli -> Akcakale (wild camping)
    Distance (km) : 104
    Time on bike : 6h 04m
    Average speed : 17.17 km/h
    Total (km) : 6288

    Ruined bridge on the shores of the Turkish and Armenian borders...Ani ruin complex.

    Lonely Planet says abouyt the ruin city Ani: The ruins of Ani…are an absolute must-see, even if you’re not an architecture buff. Set amidst spectacular scenery, the site exudes an eerie ambience that is uniquely unforgettable.. I can’t say it much clearer. The city is just fantastic…

    The ruin city of Ani...Fantastic area!

    Frescoes at the Ani ruin city...

    Cave city at Ani. Masterpiece.

    Untitled...

    Kuyucuk woman not quite getting my questions right!

    Fumil at Lake Cildir

    Setting sun behind Lake Cildir. Nice wild camping! Northeastern Turkey, July 2006.

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    Day 114 – At the End of The World

    Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

    Tuzluca -> Ocakli (private garden camping)
    Distance (km) : 98
    Time on bike : 5h 45m
    Average speed : 17.00 km/h
    Total (km) : 6184

    View of the Armenian territory from the Turkish side, near Tuzluca.

    Thunderstorms gathering in the horizon behind Armenia. Ocakli, Turkey.

    Ocakli family. Turkey 2006.

    In the garden in Ocakli, Eastern Turkey - July 2006

    The cows are being led back to their overnight cave dwelling...

    Farm land...

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