Today we are enjoying a day off in Shiraz after biking 14 days in a row and several “wild” camping spots.
The roads through the mountains in Iran were much higher then we imagined beforehand so it took us a little longer to overcome them; but what a tremendous views and sceneries!
Yesterday we reached Shiraz after a record breaking 174km of biking and we were truly happy to have found a hostel down town, where we had a great diner (with cappuccino!!!) and a perfect sleep ?.
When you are on the road in Iran you will mainly see two types of cars; white Peugeots and blue Nissans… The white Peugeot (mostly type 405) is an Iranian built car and the government is protecting the market with huge taxes (> 100%) on other brands. This means you better remember exactly where you parked your car unless you want to spent hours trying to find your own Peugeot?.
Then the blue Nissans, also known as Saipa 25, are rather trucks than cars. They have a special rear axis enabling them to (over-)load the pick-up with everything you can imagine like, cows, sheeps (they travel both economy and business class), haystacks, gas cylinders, Cola, another blue Nissan, moving stuff, etc etc.
The truck has been produced by Saipa Iran since February 1983 under the license of Nissan (the Nissan Junior was cancelled without a successor in Japan in 1982). We were happy to find a farmer who let us “drive” his blue Nissan?.
As the truck is strong and versatile it has a positive image. The image of the drivers however, is bad to the bone; they have their own traffic rules and in short this means that you always have green light (no matter the actual color shown on the traffic light), holding distance is limited to a max of 5 cm and taking over is always possible, when not left then right over the street shoulder…. and oh yes, when you took the wrong exit on the high way, just turn your Nissan and become one of the many ghost drivers.
As we mentioned in previous posts, the enthusiasm and hospitality of Iran is without limits, and we were very happy with the tour through Shar-e-kord guided by Mehdi with a typical Falafal offered by his nephew, a perfect camping spot at the Red Crescent…
… including tea and kebab, a free breakfast in Meymand, a tea from one of our dear blue Nissan drivers, 6 apples and a camping spot from Amir in Yasuj and all the different sounds of car and truck horns, pushing us to the top of each mountain.
Everybody is trying to have us one more day in order to show us the city or points of interest. We need all our persuasiveness to convince our hosts, that “the road is our goal” and that we need to bike further….
Maurice just arranged for the laundry and we decided to stay in the hostel one more night. After maintaining our bikes (we had our first flat tire by the way..), we will visit downtown Shiraz and go for a hair cut as well.
Tomorrow starts our last track in Iran to Bandar Lengeh, where we will take the ferry to Dubai, just before our visa expires, on 26/10.
Linda, Nicolas and Oliver… here we come!!! ?