VAEGABOND - Iran – Mountains and Desert
We're finally there, in Iran. Actually, we already wanted to go here in 2021, but most of the time things don't go as planned. Last year we were still in Turkey and the borders were all closed due to COVID-19. So unfortunately we coulnd't directly enter Iran. When Georgia opened it's borders back up we took a little turn to the North and then went over the green Georgia and Armenia to enter Iran. Almost an entire year later we're now in the 19th country of our world tour and again we're in a country. that we cannot compare to any other.
In Armenia there were still roads covered in snow and snowrain. In Iran, from the border on, there were dusty, dry roads and later the desert. Our clothes also changed. Atleast essentially those of Melli. In Iran women are obligated to wear a headscarf and a wide shirt, that covers their butt. Men should wear long pants. A little challenge with those rising temperatures.
Instead of going over the main route from the armenian border towards Täbris, we decided to go over a less full road over the mountains at the very beginning of our Iran trip. We took about two day to get into the next village. The landscapes around us were amazing, even when it started to rain. We now had the choice to follow our road or to take a little shortcut. The alternative offered by far less altimeters and even 15 les kilometers. Great! We thought! The first 7 kilometers were really nice, it went downhill and the driving surface was not even that bad. But one thing we totally missed, was that it had rained the past 7 days straight in this regon. You really shouldn't go these amazing shortcuts with unpaved ground and rain by bike. So we went through muddy hollows and all the dirt on the wheels completely blocked them so they woulnd't move for even one millimeter. Both of us started, pushing the bikes, but that didn't a lot of sense. One stayed with the bikes and the other one went looking if the way would get better. Actually, were just 3 kilometers ahead of us until we would hit the original road.
We thought about how smart it would be to just unload all luggage and tranport it all step for step, meter for meter. But then we had to admit that this adventure did seem a little hopeless, if we didn't want to push our bikes until late at night and arrive at the intersection totally annoyed. We were already wet and fully covered in mud anyways. So we turned around, pushed the bikes, that felt like they got heavier by hundredweights, until the ground got bette again and went the amazing way back. The mud, though, sticked to the rim and the brakes so persistently, that Mellis brake got completely blocked and she couldn't move her bike anymore. Now, not even pushing was possible anymore. Atleast we could now test our exchanged equipment, like the new Ortlieb backpacks, for their waterproofness and we can say - test passed!
Coincidentally, one of those little blue pack cars, that we had already seen out here, passed by. The man offered us to take one of the bikes to the next village. So one thing led to another and young iranians brought us to the garage of one of their fathers. Quickly many people surrounded us to watch Dani screw. At the back corner of the screw garage there was a gas hose being lit, that brought us comfortably warm fire. One of the men spoke good english and invited us to the the neighbour house to spend the night at his. There, he slept with his friend and his father in law after coming back from gold digging. Because there were goldmines nearby. We learned a couple of words in Farsi and got a first look at the culture. The next day we reached Tabriz where we straight up collided with a huge bike group. Again, we were invited and slept over at the group leader's that showed us the city. In the evening he brought us to break the fast on a mountain, where we ate together with many families and had a great view over Tabriz.
Our trip through Iran went on. We decided to meet our swiss bike friends Lisa & Dario from Erfahrung der Welt (Experience of the World), that were also in the country right now. We had already spent some time with them in Turkey and Georgia and they are also headed East with their bikes. They are on the opposite route through Iran and so they gave us a few helpful tips. Then we were headed for the iranian desert. We were alone for more than 350 kilometers, 90km of them without water, without villages and barely the trace of a human. The few cars, that passed by, stopped and the iranians in them gave us ice cold water and sweets. All of a sudden we had enough water. Melli's long clothes and the scarf around the head ended up proving themselves as very helpful. It was a good protection against the sun. The temperatures rised up to 36°C, which we could be glad about, because one week later they were supposed to rise over 40°C.
On the third day in the desert we saw a building flare up on the horizon. No, not a Fata Morgana. We arrived at a old, abandoned caravanserai. In some places she was dilapidated, but not any less impressive. The best ever – no one was there. We had the caravanserai for ourselves and went to explore. We couldn't have found a better place for the night. So we set up our indoor tent in one of the half open rooms and imagined, what this place must've looked like a long time ago. The caravanserai served as a contact point for travelers, a goods depot and a water source in the middle of the desert. Just amazing. After a week we had passed through the desert and we can say: again a unforgettable and terrific moment on our world tour!
Just like the countless encounters we had this month in Iran. Let it be in the capital of Iran, in Teheran, in Isfahan, in Yazd, in the many small villages inbetween or just on the steet. Again we met wonderful people, that showed us their everyday life and their culture and from who we could learn so much new stuff. Especially there encounters with the natives make this trip so unforgettable, so wonderful and unique.
Yesterday we could extend our Visa, yay! The Iran is just way too big and there's still so much to explore! We're looking forward to what further expects us on our trip!
Best wishes from on the way
Melli & Dani