Posts Tagged ‘Qaem Shahr’


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. ☺


Cycling through Iran is about the people. The road to Mashhad was long, hilly, and full of dangerous truck drivers. Then we arrived and were welcomed into our friend’s family. The smiles on their faces – the twinkle in the eyes of 95 year old mother and father of the family – their kindness and lovingness, make cycling in Iran so special.

Lovely family in Babol

Lovely family in Babol

We arrived in Qaem Shahr as exhausted oily grease spots. The road through the mountains leading up to the high pass is never flat, climbing, then falling, and then climbing again. All this was done in the bright sun. Then descending towards the Caspian Sea, the weather changed – it was colder and started to rain. We were almost run off the road several times by some reckless truck drivers ploughing through roadworks. Our altercation with a truck driver was all made good when a man in a little shop saw it, welcomed us in, and gave us drinks and food. He was as angry about the trucks as we were.

Road to the Caspian Sea

Road to the Caspian Sea

Our evening was amazing. We met the whole family – the two brothers and their happy, smiling, welcoming 95 year-old parents. They are all so keen to show us how the people of Iran are – welcoming people, that, like everyone else in the world, just want to enjoy life, and be part of the world community.