Posts Tagged ‘Bandar-e-Gaz’


Then came the stew with rice and yoghurt. And the fruit. At 1am. My head is spinning from experiences and exhaustion – cycling, jungle waterfall walk, fireside grill and live music in the mountain village, live audition of people playing the tar in the town. We must stay another day – we must stay they say, but the kilometres to Mashhad need to be cycled. Happy and tired, I collapse into bed.

Playing tha tar

Playing tha tar

We missed out welcoming committee cycling into Aliabad. They stopped the car and got out as we cycled past entering Aliabad.
‘Welcome to Iran. Welcome to Aliabad.’
We waved, said hi, and cycled on. This happens every 10 minutes in Iran, and we had our friends to meet in the city. Then my phone buzzed – an SMS – we are behind you. Then a call. We followed our friends Mustafa and team to their home.

Our friends in Aliabad

Our friends in Aliabad

The Caspian Sea region is green. Rice plantations and other farms, with high, jungled mountains rising on the horizon. We were taken to a famous waterfall near Aliabad, and ascended through the steep greenery to have a cup of tea admiring the waterfall.

On the way to the waterfall

On the way to the waterfall

The waterfall

The waterfall

Tea at the waterfall

Tea at the waterfall

Then meal number 1 – kebab and rice – at the base of the waterfall.

Whisked away to a mountain village, and we sat down on an open outhouse, warmed by the log fire. The chickens were killed, and grilled. A friend of Mustafa – famous in Iran – came to play the guitar and sing.

The fire and the music

The fire and the music

The music

The music

Then back to the town for a rendition of the tar. Amazing music, and a group of very happy, lovely people. Who knows what is going to happen next. We go with the flow.

Back to our host’s house, another meal is waiting – meal number 3 since our late lunch. What a lovely afternoon and evening.

Late dinner

Late dinner

Oh. And we cycled 93km along some side roads. A lot less noisy and pleasant. ☺


Lying on my mat, I look up at the millions of stars. The frogs are croaking, and the cicadas chirping. The mud flat next to the tents leads off towards the Caspian Sea. Its warm and still. What a cool place to be. And I have cycled here!

View from our camping spot on the Caspian Sea

View from our camping spot on the Caspian Sea

The day started with drizzle and a main road. Getting through the kilometres we need to cover to get to Turkmenistan in time means stretches of straight, busy roads. Rather uninspiring. My mind wanders, thinking of all sorts of things. Then I see a sign to Mashhad, and a shiver runs down my spine. I am really here – in the territory of the world touring cyclist. I have ready many blogs, seen many videos, and now here I am. Then a man and his little boy on a motor-bike stop in front of us and give us strawberries. Another family pull over and welcome us to their home in a town 180km further along. Then back to eating up the kilometres in this friendly country.

Strawberries

Strawberries

A friendly encounter

A friendly encounter

We turn off the main road at Bandar-e-Gaz, and then, there it is – the Caspian Sea. There are a few little clothes shops, and kiosks and people hanging around. I am really excited.

In front of the Caspian Sea

In front of the Caspian Sea

The rush to Mashhad seems less ominous now. We only need to average 100km per day after 3 kilometre-rich days. Maybe a lie-in tomorrow on the Caspian Sea. ☺