Yesterday morning we left pretty early and headed south towards the Iranian border. We had no plans to cross it, but wanted to see the most southern part of Armenia. We were both a little worn from the previous days of riding, and hoped that the route would go easy on us. This was not to be.
Once we were off tarmac, the trail immediately became steep, increasingly rocky and overgrown. It rose sharply to a crest with a beautiful pasture of green grass and red flowers. It was clear that the track had not been used for a long time. I was starting to get the uneasy feeling of riding towards a dead end.
As we passed the highest point, the track became pretty much completely overgrown with vegetation way over the handlebar. As we were on a steep face on a narrow overgrown track, riding took extra care, but we did manage to push through.
I was starting to get the feeling that we might just make it through. However the mountains were very different in composition compared to their counterparts in the North. The rolling green high plateaus were gone, and replaced by shabby sandy rock which clearly eroded easily. Turning a corner we found ourselves looking at a rock fall covering the track. I hiked down to scout the route, which seemed tricky but doable. On my way up I cleared some of the larger rocks to establish a line. We were close to 3,000 m, and just walking back up the trail felt arduous.
Riding through the mini Erzberg section was somewhat challenging, but we did make it through without injury to man or machine. From there the trail started to ease off as it descended into a valley with a small river, which we crossed several times to finally escape the long forgotten trail and make our way back to civilisation.
Considering our options, we decided that we weren’t that interested in the southern border after all and turned North. We rode back to the big lake and stayed at a strange derelict hotel.