Day 232 | Tuesday November 1
When I looked out the window of my hotelroom in the morning I was very surprised. The whole city had turned white, since the morning it had been snowing heavily. I thought it was very ironically as I had been in a rush the last 2 months to make it before the first of November into Iran because I was afraid of snow and exactly today it started snowing.
I opened my laptop and received some very good news. The company of which I thought had scammed me delivered the authorization code for the Iran visa! Strange but great experience. This means I could now pick up the visa in Erzurum, thats about 300km back. While it’s freezing though the car’s range will drop with 20-30% and while driving through the mountains it will get even less.
I headed back to Cafe Pera were the car was charging. I wanted to pick it up and drive to Agri were I found a couchsurfing host. At the cafe they disconnected the cable during the night so it was not fully charged yet. Around 3pm the electricity in the entire city went out. I had 93% so I wanted to tame my chances, it was just a 100km drive.
It was hard to get out of the city with all that snow but once on the highway it was allright. Things changes when it got dark, it started snowing heavy. I couldn’t see much and it got so cold. I didn’t turn on the heater as that takes to much energy and I would get even less range, the windows got blurred and with a wiper I tried to keep visibility. The range dropped quickly and the next petrol station was 50km away. I have to say this drive was one of the scariest things in my life, not exaggerating. I had no winter tires and sometimes I slipped a bit. I was lucky to reach the petrol station and I could recharge there. At that moment it stopped snowing and after and one hour later I jumped back into the car and reached my host around 9pm. My host was Bora, a 22 year old PHD student. Nice guy with a nice clean house. A vlog about this day will come in the following days.
Day 233 | Wednesday November 2
Bora needed to drive from Agri to Erzurum today. I thought this was perfect as I didnt need to drive to the snow and ice. It could also safe me a day as I could hitchhike back to Agri, pick up te car and drive straight to Dogubeyazit.
We reached Erzurum in the afternoon and the Iranian consulate just closed, so needed to come back in the morning. I contacted a guy on Couchsurfing, he couldn’t host me myself but contacted Ali, a friend of his and he was happy to welcome me. Ali was a English student and lived in an student apartment with 2 other guys, Ferhat and Mehmet. All really nice guys who made some Turkish food and played some traditional music on the guitar.
Day 234 | Thursday November 3
In the morning Ferhat and Mehmet helped me getting around in the city. We went to the consul and I showed them my papers, payed the visa and walked out the consulate happy. I told the guys that I wanted to hitchhike back to Agri but they wouldn’t let me. They were afraid something would happen and especially with the cold it was not the best timing. So they booked me a busticket. Around 6pm I got back to Agri and wanted to take the car. There was still snow next to the road but the roads self were ice-free and safe to drive.
Unfortunately the car didn’t start, probably because of the low temperatures, it was -13 (!!!). This was the first time it happened and didn’t know what to do. At a nearby hotel I asked if I could use wifi to contact Wim, the car-specialist from Custom Cars. When I explained the problem to the owner of the hotel he immediately offered me a room. I told him I really wanted to reach Dogubeyazit but he insisted and gave me a small tour, the hotel had a hamman, swimming pool fitness room and more so it started to get tempting. I couldn’t reach Wim at that moment so decided to take the offer.
A few hours later I went back to the car and it started somehow. Wim told me it was wise to connect it to the grid so the batteries would warm up.
I went for a dive in the Grand Cenas Hotel and relaxed a bit in the Haman. Deniz, the owner of the hotel invited me for dinner, introduced me to his friends and gave me a short tour through town.
Day 235 | Friday November 4
After a delicious breakfast and morning swim it was hard to leave, and it got very hard as I found out the temperature was still -14, by day! Deniz advised me to leave around 2pm, which I did. It was interesting to see how fast it got warmer, every 10km about 1 u, degree more. Today I wanted to reach Maku, just 15km after the Iranian border were Ali found me a place to stay. Still it was exciting if I could reach that. I need one recharge to get to Dogubeyazit were I met the guys from the cafe again and after a short stop I reached the Iranian border. I expected a thorough search through the car but they only opened the rear door and it was oke. It took some time to handle the documents needed to get into the country and in total the border crossing took one hour.
So now I am in Iran. The country has a strict policy when it comes to blogging and as I respect that I won’t write anything about the country. I do will post regular pictures and stories on all my social media pages so be sure to follow!