Day 111. 77km. Kapan – Meghri

Posted: June 30, 2015 in Armenia, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

Proud. We are looking at the mountains of Iran, and we have cycled here over the Caucasus. Two years ago this was a dream. Now it is reality, and, cycling up a 12% slope in the snow and hail I laughed. I am here. Now.

Meghri pass

Meghri pass

Today was not a day of admiring the scenery. It was hidden behind the cloud. Today was a day to climb from 800m to 2535m and down the other side to 600m. And the climb was going to be steep. My music cocooned me in a sphere of self-contemplation. Music that has accompanied me while preparing this trip.
While cycling in the arctic in northern Sweden, I was listening to ‘Alive’ by Krewella, and a shiver ran down my spine. Here I am cycling to the North Cape in Norway, through the tundra, and I had got there by bike. This trip was amazing, and, my next trip is going to be even more amazing. I was going to cycle back home. I cried with joy. I had made up my mind.

The planning of the trip took two years, and a lot of music accompanied me. My three months for Philips in Boston was a time where the trip planning took concrete form. My playlist today was full of those numbers.
‘Under Control’ by Calvin Harris and ‘Shewolf’ by David Guetta remind me of the final phases of planning in Eindhoven. And, ‘Let’s Go’, by Calvin Harris is just raw energy. Man, I was happy, rounding every hairpin bend, passing piled up snow, watching the snow turn from being flaky to consisting of small pellet-like balls. And then I watched the hail. I was here, now, doing what I had chosen to do, and what I love to do.

Snow mound

Snow mound

Iran is in sight

Iran is in sight

Coming down, the hail and snow turned to rain, and then cleared. The last kilometres into Meghri had good visibility, and we saw some beautiful mountain landscape.

Iran in the distance

Iran in the distance

Meghri valley

Meghri valley

We even ran into a couple of Dutch touring cyclists – a rare sight in these parts.

Cycle tourists

Cycle tourists

Oh. I lost my voice today. I feel fine, but sound awful. I’m sure I’ll be fine tomorrow, when we enter Iran. We’re so excited!


  1. Alessandro says:

    great to see your progress. So: Iran now.
    The snow there – and some 30C degrees here (Trento).
    We were in Belgium with Susan this last weekend and while driving I spotted a road sign with “Eindhoven”: it was a LONG car trip for us to get to Belgium, so I sure appreciate the distance you are covering. Bravo!

    (By the way: the map for today seems to be locked to us)

  2. jovialspoon says:

    Good God, that looks so cold! But just incredible – what an achievement, congratulations.

  3. AndrewGills says:

    I saw Iran’s mountains out the plane window yesterday afternoon. Looks amazing. Can’t wait to see your route and pics from the ground.

  4. Dina says:

    Well done!! 🙂

  5. ton smeets says:

    Hey guys

    Unbelievable we expect here in Eindhoven coming weekend 40 degrees Celcius while you are in the snowy landscapes. Enjoy your first meters in Iran and make it the trip of your live.
    Good luck.

  6. Alessandro says:

    Hello Matthew,
    To answer your questions: No – we were not in Antwerpen; we stayed in Buellingen in the Ardennes.
    And: no: the other maps are visible – it is only this one that says “locked” (for me).


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