Heidi Hetzer Update #4

Good Morning,
We woke up in sunny Tbilisi where we arrived yesterday. On Tuesday we had to bring Hudo to a workshop that Heidi had located on a night reconnaissance trip, after an attempt failed with a decrepit lift at the adjacent gas station, designed more for lifting pallets than for cars.

Mehmet and his team supported us energetically despite the need to communicate with hands and feet, the breakthrough came via a small drawings internationally understood by mechanics.

We changed out the fuel filter dirty again and I found new ways to bend my fingers when installing the replacement speedometer brought to Istanbul. 
Three hours later it was done but there were no torque wrench available to check our wheel bolts. Finally Hudo got washed and stood back shiny.


After a brief detour to the convenience store opposite the hotel where it was cool and dry we headed off to the Turkish border in Georgischen, about a 5km ride. We drove briefly on the main road before being sent to the left into a 2km long row of cars

To us it looked like about 6 hours of waiting! But Heidi being Heidi walked to the border guards ahead and told him our special concern. Unfortunately the Turkish border police are not so easily impressed and so we were stuck in the proverbial (and actual) mud. Everything suddenly looked gray and ugly after the great days in advance.

But then the tactic was changed. A more forward-standing bus driver advised us some persuasion in the form of freshly printed dollars may be helpful to our cause. Lo and behold it worked and another hour later, the first time this country! 
In nearby Batumi and in the middle of the chaotic evening traffic we bought a new a SIM card at a mini store for the equivalent of 2.50 €. A little later in Poti on the Black Sea still we enjoyed an invigorating dinner on a rooftop of a club with music sound and then decided to drive through the night to move forward. But we were too tired. By 1:30 in the morning Hudo was stopped somewhere in eastern Georgia in the semi-dark next to a gas station to sleep until sunrise. The onset of torrential rain supported this decision and we made the best of it, but I can say for my part I was yearning to at least recline my seat to a lying area.
Abandoned industrial sites, ruins and secondary streets with small run-down places reminiscent of worst-reunification periods in the east. The people had lost their ease and to find a laugh already took a lot of effort.However, the landscape was lush and green now and I felt like I was in a subtropical country in Central or South America!

The sentiment rose again and suddenly the road became a highway and it went ahead with great strides. When we finally arrived in Tiblissi, we went to our travel agency then to the Iranian embassy for my visa which should have been delivered for pick up, we thought a simple administrative stop... .. far from it. 

After some waiting time, the Ambassador told me that providing everything went smoothly we'd still have to wait until Monday.  

Unfortunately this would completely kill our schedule and so have been running since yesterday the phones and email lines hot, especially since there are other hurdles in Türkmen Istan and Uzbekistan with Heidi's visa expiration dates.

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