Friday, 17 July 2015

Istanbul to Tbilisi - Sorted

So here we are 41 days into my adventure and I have got Matt and Sarah to Tbilisi in Georgia where I have had my nuts tightened and been well lubricated in preparation for the next stage of our journey into Russia and onwards to Uzbekistan via Kazakhstan.

Potton to Georgia Route

After a nice rest in Istanbul we left on our journey to Georgia.  Rather than taking a direct route Matt and Sarah decided there were a few things they wanted to see and do en-route and so rather than simply taking the Bosphorus Bridge to get into Asia they decided to drive down the Gallipoli Peninsula to Eceabat and cross via ferry to Cannakkle and enter Asia that way. 

As you can imagine I was the centre of attraction both while on the ferry and through Turkey with with loads of people taking photos of me and signing blue spots to the extent we have now moved onto the blank areas of the other stickers.  I've also managed to pick up a few more Angels en-route to Georgia.


Once into Asia the roads became much more windy and there was a lot more going up and down hills.  The coast road to Oludeniz wasn't too bad but we did hit an area where the road was still being built so loose, wet gravel was an interesting surface to drive on.  Also Matt and Sarah did take a couple of detours which resulted in driving through some small towns where using the term road may have been stretching it a tad.

Not only did I have to cope with rough roads we started seeing livestock which seemed to want to walk in front of me.  When the roads were reasonable they were pretty steep with the hill into Oludeniz causing some challenges given my petrol tank was full and the brakes were overheating.  Also leaving was fun as I had to climb back out from sea level which meant being in second for some time.


Anyway I managed to deal with all the differing road conditions without too many problems.  The sump guard took a ding or two and one of the towing points is now bent but at least I haven't sustained any damage.  Once in Tbilisi Matt arranged for a service where my oil was changed.  The mechanic noticed that the half shaft seals were leaking but it wasn't serious so it was decided not to use the spares.  Diff oil topped up and Matt will have to keep an eye on this and probably top up again. 

The chap who did the service also noticed that the nuts on the U bolt holding on the rear dampers were working loose so these were tightened too (another job for Matt).  The speedo connection to the gearbox was also tightened hopefully stopping the small oil leak from the gearbox. 

Finally got by bits greased and so am now ready to take on Russia and Kazakhstan and into the next stage of our route to Uzbekistan and Central Asia.  Some stats of the trip so far;

  • Miles traveled from Potton to Tbilisi - 5,105
  • Miles traveled to last tank full - 5,039
  • Gallons of petrol used - 120
  • Miles per Gallon - 41.95
  • Actual days driving - 20
  • Number of speeding fines - 1
  • Number of other fines - 1
  • Number of problems requiring a mechanic - 2
  • Number of minor problems solved by Matt/Sarah - 0