A brief update on what’s been happening since we completed our epic 850-kilometer-long Transcaucasian Trail in Armenia. After a seven-week hike, it was time for several things:
- to rest
- to do laundry
- to work
- to read books about these fabulous countries in the Caucasus
- to catch up with friends and family online
- to hopefully connect with some fellow overlanders again
Read More: Hiking the 850-km-long Transcaucasian Trail
The weeks passed by in a breeze as we accomplished so much while enjoying great company. While overlanding may involve traveling through the remotest places and not seeing fellow overlanders for months at a time, Georgia and Armenia are the places to catch up.
As both countries are at such a crossroad of overland itineraries, many overlander journeys intersect here. These days, it’s a bit different as many are reluctant or refusing to travel to Russia or Iran, for different reasons, so they end up staying longer in both Georgia and Armenia than anticipated.
Read More: Overlanding in a Siberian Winter
Crossway Camping is located in Yegeghnadzor, central Armenia, and was our first place of rest after the hike. It’s a lovely place. Located at lower altitudes than its surroundings, it’s warmer as well. Hot in summer, but in October it was pleasant. Green, with lots of trees and patches of grass for pitching a tent, open-air lounging areas, good showers and a washing machine, as well as a kitchen unit, this is a perfect place to unwind. (oh, in summer you can enjoy the swimming pool as well).
While the main traveling season, summer, is behind us, we were lucky to meet some kindred spirits. Among them the Dutch couple Nico and Francis, who have been on the road for about 2.5 months and who added the company of a cute dog somewhere along the way.
It was a great joy to listen to the tales of a Brazilian cyclist, but we spent most of the time with the German cyclists Susan and Michael. They needed a break, and for about a week we shared dinner and lots of stories. With them having previously done two big motorcycling trips to Asia, there were lots of moments of perfect understanding of what our journeys are all about.
Time to move on a little bit, to the well-known campsite 3Gs in Goght, just northeast of Yerevan. It lies beautifully situated in a valley and this time of year offers perfect views of the autumn-colored trees and the snow-peaked Ararat mountain in the west.
This is the campsite where quite a number of overlanders store their vehicles for weeks, or months, either outside, or in the big warehouse, as we did last year as well. Sandra is possibly the hardest-working person I know, and I’m full of admiration for how she runs the place and is so committed to taking care of her guests and their vehicles.
Travel Guides for Armenia & Caucasus
(click on the images to look inside)
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With a swimming pool, three indoor kitchen-cum-dining areas super equipped with every imaginable kitchen utensil and a wood stove for the winter months, this campsite-cum-Bed&Breakfast is another place to easily linger. And so we did as overlanders came and went, and we met new people and caught up with friends.
Heidi and Rene had been traveling in Armenia during our hike, and we had met along the way. They were now storing their vehicle for the winter to do some backpacking journeys in warmer parts of the world. Let’s meet again in spring!
Nico and Joska we had met in Georgia last summer, and shared a great off-road adventure on the toughest, level-5, off-road itinerary of Oun Travela’s Explore Georgia – 24 of the best off-road routes.
If you plan to go overlanding in Georgia, make sure to get this book. It gets you to the most wonderful places, and the book includes good maps and detailed descriptions and tips of places to visit along the way.
The couple had stored their vehicle for the duration of a visit to the Netherlands and were back to hit the road. But not before sharing some meals, lots of wine and beer with us, and challenging each other at board games. You can follow them on Niejotravel.com
Before saying goodbye to them, by the way, we did a short trip together for some sightseeing: the nearby Symphony of the Stones and the Garni Temple, both lit at night, as well as a visit to Khor Virap, an important place of pilgrimage for the Armenians and a place you want to see with sunrise when the sunrise hits the snow of the Ararat mountain in the background.
A separate blog post will follow on the beautiful sites around Camping 3Gs.
And thirdly, we ended up at Overland Haven in Sagarejo, east of Tbilisi (Georgia). We have known Sarah and Grant for a year now, and love spending time with them. They are not a commercial campsite but do have a piece of land, and you’re free to drop by, camp and enjoy the lovely place (and do laundry… :-)).
Anyway, we had made plans for an adventure in the desert, and we did. But that’s for another blog post!
Meanwhile there was much work to be done. While editing my 3rd book (in Dutch), Over Bruggen – Dwars door de Amazone, we started a crowdfunding to make the publishing possible.
Do you want to chime in, or register for a signed copy, you can do so here:
All help is appreciated, including sharing the crowdfunding with your friends/family, and/on your socials.
Well, it’s been an interesting, inspiring month for sure! Meanwhile winter is setting in, with cold temperatures and a serious rain storm with strong gusts for the past two days. Thank god for the Planar Heater in the Land Cruiser! With a regular strong espresso, I keep typing away: this blog post, an article for Expedition Portal, or my book – plenty of work to do!
We hope you are all doing well. Let us know how you’re doing, we always love to hear from you!
Karin-Marijke & Coen
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