I had a good time in Shahrud with my host, Hamed. He showed me around town and we drove up to the mountains to have a look at a waterfall close to the village Mojen. It felt really strange to go from the edge of the desert and after just 40 km being up in the mountains with snow still on the ground. And to get to the waterfall we had to walk in the freezing cold water through a gorge.
The next day I was back on the bike and headed out into the desert on the road towards Mashhad. I did not have a very good start on the day with a head wind. But after pushing on for a couple of hours the wind settled down and after lunch the ride was much easier. And the weather was really good except for the wind. It was about 25 degrees and cloudy, so I didn’t have to deal with the burning desert sun. My host from Semnan’s husband was working with cultural sites around the Semnan area and had arrange so that I could spend the night at Miandasht caravansary, but when I arrived the housekeeper had left for Tehran and the place was locked. But I found a nice place for my tent in the back where I had protection from the wind during the night. And from the back I found a way into the caravansary where I snuck in and had a look around the magnificent complex.
The next day I was really happy when I started cycling and felt the wind in my back. But it only lasted for 30 km when the road turned a bit and also the wind. So for most of the day the wind was coming from the side and when leaning into the wind and the big trucks passes by breaking the wind flow I have to steady the bike. It felt more obvious that I was in the desert today with the scorching sun. The wildlife is also changing since I came into the desert region, the bugs are getting bigger and creepier and yesterday I say camels in the wild for the first time. And that’s one of the times I really stop to think about how far from home I have come.
Yesterday’s cycling was really hard, but I really wanted to make it to Sabzevar where I had a place to stay with a couchsurfer. But to get there I had to cycle 150 km and when stopping for lunch after 90 km I was really tired and hesitated if I should continue on. But after getting some food in me and drinking a lot of water a got some new energy and kept on going. The wind turned once again and or the last stretch to Sabzevar I had to struggle with a head wind. But I finally made it and today I’m taking a break from the bike to rest up before tomorrow heading out into the 30 degree desert again. I’m just lucky I’m cycling here now during the spring, I can’t imagine how hard it must be during the hot summer.
And one thing that gave me some extra energy yesterday was a text message from back home letting me know that Skellefteå AIK crushed Luleå in the playoff finals of the Swedish Hockey League!!!!!