Who Put those Mountains there?- Hypothermic in Armenia

April and I set off from Tblisi at a leisurely pace, looking forward to the warm and desert-like conditions of Armenia.
Thelma was working well after the clean out of the carb bowls and new fuel filters put in. We headed south trying to find a route into Armenia that doesn't seem to show up on most of the road maps (not that we'd had a map until April went to the Tibs map shop). Jean Yves was curious to hear from us how this route that looked no more than a goat track on his international map would fare - on our Georgian map it looked like a main road.
An hour later as we veered wildly around huge potholes, trying to follow tarmac that was merely a lacy network connecting a multitude of holes and crevasses, we came to the conclusion that it was definitely more suited to goats than vehicles.
In fact we could hardly believe it was a road leading to an international border crossing - until we came to the wooden hut with a length of electrical wire tied across the road -oh yes, this was Georgian Customs - manned by a very friendly guy who spoke perfect English and efficiently stamped us out of his country. Not so with the Armenian side where two and a half hours later we were still wading through paperwork and checks, some of which were downright dubious including the guy who got April to hold a thermometer in her armpit and then attempted to "entertain" her with his favourite non-family viewing pictures on his mobile phone - April was not amused. After a fee was paid for the paperwork - and it seems like a legal fee as I have signed and printed receipts we thought we could finally go. However Mr Smug Face stepped forward to say that we now had to completely empty our cases and he would search - not really a problem for us but it had started to rain heavily and we still had a lot of miles to cover to reach Yerevan and Susan's warm house. So, desperate measures were called for and April whipped out her diplomatic passport - an awed silence followed as Mr Smug Face examined it and realised it was genuine. So he turned to me and said "fair enough but what about you with your British Passport?"
I haughtily said - "I'm her driver".
A whisper of "chauffeur" went through the crowd who were watching this interchange.
Mr Smug Face looked us up and down, I agree it seemed unlikely- as April and I stood in front of him, looking bedraggled with a mud-splattered Thelma beside us. But he looked at the magic diplomatic passport once more and just silently waved us through - we had won.

We roared off in triumph until we had to slow down again to navigate around the potholes (Jean Yves, if you are reading this - do NOT take your Vespa this way). Thelma started spluttering again and we were losing power intermittently and it was getting dark, we pushed onwards as my hands became increasingly numb - and April shivered behind me, despite the fact that she had my electric heated jacket on; it was just soooooo cold.

We knew we were up in the mountains but we kept expecting to start descending.
It just never seemed to happen, finally at 9.30pm I gave up, I was cold- dangerously so with regard to riding Thelma and being able to react quickly to any sudden surprises the road might throw at us- and there seemed to be plenty of those.. I stopped in a tiny village and we staggered in through the doorway of a tiny shop, we were ushered into chairs by the guys sat inside who then put the heater on and offered us vodka to warm us. The bad news was that there was no hotel, however they managed to produce a household that was willing to take us in for the night which was how 20 mins later we found ourselves sat amongst four generations of a kurdish family, huddled by their woodburner, drinking tea and watching TV.
They were incredibly welcoming and prepared a lovely meal and endless drinks before showing us to a comfortable bedroom.
Yazidi Kurds -an anthropologist's dream and we had stumbled into their midst.