Salaam aleikum !
Coming into Iran wasn't without problems...
First there was this mini bus which I took from Erzurum where Natascha took a plane to Istanbul, I was so kind to drop her of
Okay, also went again to the post office to see if my package from holland finally arrived but no, even after more than three weeks not. I asked if package may arrive if they can send in through to Shiraz in Iran, don't expect too much out of it but you never know, package must be somewhere doesn't it ?
Okay, the mini bus.
Full of people, many bagage on the last seats and in the space between the chairs where you normally walk, not in Turkey though...Here they put luggage everywere.
But my bike still stood outside the bus, even more people came and more luggage...
I had little hope for my bike, only prayed...
Finally my bike came in, standing in front of the walking row, so nobody could get in or out without climbing over my bike...Not very happy about that but we were in the bus, back to Dogubayazit were we arrived after not less than 7 hours...
In darkness and rain and very tired I biked to the campground, uphill and wind against nd rain and cold and no, not very happy.
When I was trying to get my tent standing one pole broke and I sank on my knees, so tired and NOT very happy. Fixed the pole a little ( in the morning fixed it good ), cooked my dinner en went to bed.
Following morning a little sun so happy on my way to Iran.
Not so happy when after 5 or 10 km 4 guys came running from the hill towards me.
One was faster than the rest and than me ( I felt trouble so I biked as fast as I could ) and was at the road, maybe 50 meters in front of me, and picked up some big stones ...
Within 0.2 seconds I had my wooden stick ( from Guatemala ) in my hand, shouting : what ? The guy threw the stones away as I rode towards him, only 10 meters now...
Just 4 or 5 meters before him I made the move of shaking his hand but actually turned my wheel and rode to the other side of the street. He tried to grab me but I was too fast and smart. That was my luck, I looked into his eyes and that was not good, not good at all.
They were really trying to get me... A huge stone was thrown at me but I was too far.
As I rode away I gave them my middle finger, leaving them furious on the middle of the road.
And believe it or not, same thing happened another three time, not as close as this one but still...
Turkey was good, great, more than great but these last 35 km were not, especially the first 15 / 20 km out of Dogubayazit.
Very scared I moved on, checking the hills for people and if I saw, speeding up if possible.
Completely lost the good feeling for the very nice turks and kurds.
I didn't like that so I started to wave, smile and saying Merhaba to every man, women, child even cow or goat I saw, trying to loose my anger and scared feelings.
It helped and in the meantime came Iran closer and closer.
The border : it is always nice to cross a border on your bike, something special about it.
But this one was one of the nicest ever. A warm welcome !
After the passport procedure I was invited at Tourist Information were I got a map of Iran and some nice tips. Everybody said welcome to Iran ! Also the sun was shining again so it was a very good welcome !
After 5 km met a japanese guy, talked a little and found out it was no problem riding in your shorts. Before entering a city he put on long trousers. so my long long trousers I took of and it was too warm to put them back on when I entered Maku, a very nice city lying in a gorge, 10 km or longer, so nice ! And from that day on no troubles at all with my clothes, just shorts and a sleeveless t shirt, no problemo !
Iran is good, I biked in two and a half day to Tabriz were I arrived after a 130 km day with rain. Heared that after Tabriz wheater was better so I rode this monster day of 130 km, last 30 km wind against and a unexpected 700 meters climb in it. Didn't stop after 60 km, 3 hours of biking through sometimes rain and sometimes it was dry. But I wanted only three things, reach Tabriz, out of this bad wheater and a hot shower !
All three came true !
Now I am finding a way of handling the loss of my great companion and move on alone which is not easy at all...
But I know I liked it before, no, loved it before so why not this time ?
'... een mens is het gezondst en gelukkigst als hij onderweg is ' ( Bruce Chatwin )