I really had great time in Zanjan and made some good friends. My host Behnam was also a long distance cyclist with a dream of cycling around the world. And I really hope he will get the opportunity one day, and it makes me feel very fortunate to be able to live out my big dream.
I had about 300 km lest to Tehran and hoped to make it in three days so that I could go to the Uzbekistan embassy and get my visa before the weekend. And with a nice breeze in the back and a great lunch in my bag from Behnam and Behrooz’s mother I pushed on. At two a clock I had cycled just over 90 km and reached the city Abhar. There I got stopped by two guys who asked me if I had time to go to picnic with them. It seemed like a good idea and I parked my bike at Hassan’s house and we drove out to a little cottage close to the city where they tried to teach me a card game with limited English. We had a nice evening and later more people arrived and they started up a barbeque and we had a delicious dinner with grilled chicken kebab.
I slept at Hassan’s house and we had a nice breakfast before I headed off. I didn’t cycle as long as I thought I would the day before since I stopped in Abhar. I had a great time there but felt like I needed to push on a little more today so that I wouldn’t have to cycle in late into Tehran the next day. And the wind was my friend today also to begin with and I made good distance before lunch. After I had to struggle a bit with the wind and my energy was a little low. When I had cycled about 120 km some people outside of a factory waved me in and showed me the way to the boss who spoke good English and we had a nice conversation over a cup of tea. He asked if he could do anything for me and I told him I was looking for a place to set up my tent for the night. He made a couple of calls and since he had friends working at the municipal office he arranged so that I could set up in the garden next to the building. Also he gave me food for dinner and if that wasn’t enough a car escorted me all the 15 km to the city of Abyek. The grass outside of the office was perfect and I had access to a bathroom, so I was very pleased and set up my tent there and got ready for the evening.
But just as I was ready another man came by, he didn’t speak any English but told me to follow him. We walked into the office building where he showed to a room where I could spend the night. So a packed up my stuff just as the rain started and. And the food that was given to me by Hamid they put in the fridge for my lunch tomorrow and order me more food. It’s amazing how friendly and helpful people are here and if you need help with something you will get it. And later Hamid called to make sure everything was okay and later someone from the mayor’s office called to check up on me and asked if they could do anything more for me. I had gotten so much already and couldn’t possibly ask for anything else. And after a good night’s sleep and breakfast I was led into the mayor’s office to meet with him. He didn’t speak English but had translators on the phone. I got a number that I could call if I needed any help when I was in Tehran and again they asked if they could do something more for me.
From here I had about 90km into Tehran and Azadi square where I had made plans to meet up with my host Bagher. But the traffic into the city was the worst I had ever experience and I had to look out for cars coming from everywhere. But I made it to Tehran alive and met up with Bagher’s brother Shayan and his farther and we loaded my bike into their blue Nissan pickup and drove to their friend Hassan’s house since Bagher was working. It was nice to arrive and jump into the shower and just relax for a while. In the evening we went over to Bagher’s place for a nice dinner and a night with great company.
I slept the night at Hassan’s place and in the morning we drove to the Uzbekistan Embassy to get my Visa. And after waiting in line for a while the process was very quick and now I’m all set for Uzbekistan. Now I just need to get my visa for Turkmenistan witch I can do now that I have my Uzbek visa.