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Week 3 – Turkish Delight and disaster strikes

 

The expeditioners near the Turkey Georgia Border

Near the Turkey Georgia Border

Update from Week 3 of the Compass Expeditions London to Magadan – Road of Bones Expedition and disaster strikes!

All adventures have challenges which must be overcome and on a 105 day expedition there will be more challenges than usual that need to be overcome. After some amazing riding through Turkey, great hospitality by local motorcycle groups, overcoming some fuel and electrical issues and finding a solution to a client’s broken down motorcycle the 13 riders, 1 pillion, three support crew and one cameraman thought that it would be plain sailing for a while.
The road had other plans in store though as the Kazbegi-Zemo Larsi border crossing point was closed due to the side of a glacier and mountain crashing down and completely blocking the road through the mountains. Several lives of local truck drivers were lost when the mountain came down so it was a tragedy for the area and for those families involved.
Photos of the size of the landslide can be seen on this blog post from an outside source – http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2014/05/20/dariali-valley-landslide/ 
What it meant for our expedition members who were in Georgia was that the road ahead was blocked and it was time to search for alternative routes. Azerbaijan was going to require a long wait for a visa, Abkhazia would not allow people to cross through and the Turkish Ferries had stopped running after the Sochi Olympics. After a couple of days of checking all options it was decided that the only solution was to turn the motorcycles and support vehicle around and aim back towards Turkey and from there up through Europe, skirting around the outside of Ukraine, and entering Russia through Lithuania, and then Latvia. A major re-route of thousands of kilometres, many hotels and causing several sections of the trip to be cut or shortened to be able to get back on schedule.
Once this was decided the expedition got back on the road back towards Turkey. They had only been back in Turkey for one day when news reports came through declaring that a temporary road had been cleared and traffic was again able to flow through the Georgia Russia border. So…do they carry on with the detour or try to turn back onto the original path to try and make it through the border?
Stay tuned and enjoy photos and ride reports at  http://www.londontomagadan.com/blog/ 
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