Posts Tagged ‘Tehran’

Day 121. 111km. Tehran – Jaban

Posted: August 2, 2015 in Cycling, Iran
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Uphill through Tehran to collect our visa, and then onwards and upwards towards the Caspian Sea. Teenage kids with sticks, cramp, and lots of ‘no’s when we asked to camp made today a rather uninspiring day.

Cyclist in Iran

Cyclist in Iran

James is on his way back to Taiwan, and I now have a new cycling partner – Detlef – or, as he calls himself in English – Michael. It’s a different dynamic, and a different (and nice) cycling experience. Detlef is very forward which can charm people, but can also tell people how it is. I notice my different approach with a commonwealth upbringing. More quiet and reserved.

Leaving Tehran was stressful, with cars, buses and other vehicles cutting you off, and driving as if you don’t exist. Other drivers blast their horns in admiration and greeting, but, somehow, we could not appreciate them today.

Picnicking near the Tajikistan embassy where we collected our visa, some teenage kids decided to play smart-ass. One wanted to show the others how tough he was by brandishing a big stick at us. A stern stare from both me and Michael, and a few words from a passer-by fixed the problem.

Stopped by cramp and the setting sun, we tried to find a place to camp where we happened to find ourselves (amongst orchards – apples?). Our requests for a place to camp was met with lots of ‘no’ responses, and gates closed in our face. We find ourselves now hidden in an orchard on some (moderately) flat ground. It will be an early morning tomorrow before we are found. ☺

Another day blown along by the wind. Today was the finale of this leg of the trip. We cycled along the freeways entering Tehran, and then through the ‘push through or be flattened’ traffic to our lovely host’s place. Time for visa shopping and a rest.



Visa shopping in Iran.
I need a visa for Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. We spent days haggling with taxis to take us from one embassy to the next. We walked miles finding printing shops near the embassies to print out application forms – some in colour as required by the Turkmenistan officials. (We could have done the printing the evening before, but we still hadn’t filled out the forms – not well organized, I guess.) I was helped by a businessman who took me back to his office to print out some documents. A manager of an English language school also printed out some documents for us, and took us to a colour printing shop in the bowels of the earth, with signs heralding its appearance only in farsi. We visited the German embassy for various documents of invitation required by several embassies. I went through a repeat process of reactivating my Iranian SIM card – a 2 hour process of ringing hotlines, printing, signing and fingerprinting documents. After 3 days I collapsed. I needed a rest. Now its just a waiting game for the embassies to process my applications. Now I can sleep!