A Subtle Kind of Tea

Well folks we made it through the mountains of Eastern Turkey which were pretty Wild West at times, with some children throwing stones and strong cay/tea drinking. The landscape was suitably Indiana Jones with winding canyon valleys like those arcade games where you have to get Luke Skywalker to the next level. After a tense border at the Sero crossing in the midday sun, maggoty toilets and some grumpy frontier villages we discovered the vast plain of desert Iran dropping down before us. We have gone from Orumiyeh to Tabriz and our experiences so far have been of a quieter, gentler nature both in the people and their tea, which seems to be less strong on the whole. The people have been very kind and helpful and we are regularly offered advice and help even when we don’t ask for it.

After crossing another salt lake we found ourselves on a long staight desert road on perfectly flat bike friendly tarmac. Cruise control kicked in and we managed 145km in one day. Arriving in Tabriz at dusk was exhilerating to say the least as Iranian traffic rules don’t seem to exist, you find a space and then you go for it. Adrenaline fuelled us to our hotel.

We have spent the day today being shown round by a friendly Iranian guy we met on the street. Who took the afternoon off just to show us the sites.

Tomorrow we head towards Zanjan on our way south. Jen is coping cycling in her new look, the temperatures being more tolerable at this time of year. Jet probably needs a haircut but loves his curls too much. He has been offered some snips by local barbers on more than one occassion…

j n j

Salt Lake Orumiyeh


Leaving the hills behind (for now) The New Look...

Tabriz Bazaar Carpet Quarter (Don't worry we haven't bought one)

Qajar era Palace Eal Goli Park Tabriz


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22 responses to “A Subtle Kind of Tea

  1. Proud Dad

    Two questions from my colleagues. (I entertain them with your travelling tales.) Did you see wild tortoise in Turkey? Generally what temperatures are you experiencing? One of my colleagues has begun consuming an increased number of travelogues. She wants to know whether you will publish your chronicles on return.
    Jen’s wardrobe looks fine for our current weather – defrosting car in the morning! All the best on your ‘magic’ carpets! X X

    • Hi Dad yes we’ve seen one tortoise crossing the road (I hope it made it-many dogs don’t) In the day the temperature can be between 25-30 degrees going down to about 7 or 8 at night so quite pleasant for cycling but the guy in the bank this morning informed us that south Iran hovers around 40 degrees c all year round and can be 50 in the summer-phew! Might have to invest in a lighter fabric.

      Who knows if we’ll publish something- if anyones interested then yes we certainly would but first we need a good cup of British tea and a scone with lashings of cream hmmmm

      Anyway enough daydreaming lots of love and keep warm jen xxx

  2. Robin (Aunt Rob)

    Just got the blog forwarded by Mon. I haven’t read it all yet, but so far find it all extremely interesting. You both look in top form. What a great trip. Is the idea also, to publish a book when you get back. Take care of yourselves and will continue to follow the blog.

    • Hi Aunt Robin- brilliant to hear from all Aunts! Mum must have sent out a link…! Hi tech webbie that she is… Well we may publish a book if we can get anyone interested. First off we have pinned our hopes on a good veggie curry in India and we’ll go from there… xxx jeth

  3. Prangs

    Jethy, I love your curls-keep them! (don’t listen to mum and dad!)
    Ah Jen, You look a treat! I guess the summer dress won’t be getting much of an outing for the next few weeks!

    Wishing you both Blue Skies
    Annie xxxxxxx

    • Hey prangs lots of blue skies here. Sometimes it seems the skies go on too far with not enough bun shops. Im keeping the haircut for now. Its clearly an important talking point in blog world and Mum and Dad love it really deep down in their hearts!

      xxx j

  4. Robin (Aunt Rob)

    Love your blog… The pictures are amazing…enjoyed listening to ‘Perfect pitch’.

    Safe travelling..

    take care.
    Aunt Rob

  5. Rowan

    Hello you two,

    What amazing photo’s and stories! What adventure…It’s getting me all inspired for the trip that Tom and I are planning to America!

    My new best friends live in your house…Sam, Mary and Arro are incredible. Well don for having them as friends! Don’t worry they haven’t burnt it down yet Jethro but they are having a little Halloween party on Sunday so I’ll update you after that!

    Lots of love

    Rowan x x x

  6. Soph

    I agree with the other sister… keep the locks, love the new look Jen!

    I wanted to paste a picture of us cycling along the canal in london and one of the beautiful boats we saw on the way, but I can’t work out how to do it.

    I love the little updates and the pictures, it amazes me every time and makes me feel further away and closer to you…


    • Hi Sophie not sure how the photos on comments works but maybe if you can do a link to flickr that might work.. Its great to get your encouraging comments and I miss you lots too. Pedal Pedal Jen xxx

  7. Robin (Aunt Rob)

    love following and reading your blog,, the pictures are amazing giving insight into the cultures of the places you visit.

    safe travels.

    Aunt Rob

  8. Pip

    for the love of Allah, I would suggest not getting a Turkish haircut. Without the benefit of good counsel, I ended up succumbing to strangers’ constant recommendations to get ‘a trim’. The results are shocking and documented here:
    I spent the following weeks in defollicled discomfort.

    Keep the curls.

    Love from Pip

    • Monsieur Pip this is very sound advice. I don’t fancy a Turkish crop and given that the Internet here won’t allow me to see your haircut it must be pretty scary. A residual worry remains that my curls may turn into dreads if I don’t do something with them but maybe this will help keep the horse flies off when I shake my head or offer a bit of protection next time I get hit with a stick xx

  9. JEB

    Hi, I love your outfit Jenny, really suits you. Thanks for the photos, like Sophie says it makes you feel closer but also further away. I think about you both everyday and I’ve printed off the carpet shop photo, it’s in my work diary so you feel like you are with me, plus I can show it to everyone I meet.
    Lots of love,
    mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Hi Mum thanks for your comments the outfits great but gets a bit sweaty sometimes. The Iranian women are a very stylish bunch. I hope I live up to their standards. Miss you too. Lots of Love Jen xxxxx

  10. Hi We have been following your tour with great admiration and respect. What an amazing thing to do and your reports are so readable – something else in which you have great skill.
    Jane and I cycle a lot but when we tour we like a degree of comfort. One of those bits of comfort is our back-up van, which for a few years was driven by someone under the name of “Uncle Ken Gough”..Under his direction we had glorious roadside picnics with cheeses, hams, fresh fruit and warm tea. Looking at your exploits, there could have been a day or two where his services would have been appreciated. We will see whether he has a good road map of Iran!
    I have placed a note of your exploits on our website under latest news. We see many blogs but this is by far and away the best we have ever read.
    Keep on keeping on! KJ

    • Thank you for your kind words of support. Its probably oweing to my grandparents cycling enthusiasm that we’re here in the first place. It would be great if we had Ken (Grandad) along with a few cucumber sandwiches- they would be much appreciated!

      Jen x

  11. Wendy

    Just finishing reading the latest instalment……. really enjoying hearing about your adventures…. your photos are fantastic…… hope tummies recover and you are able to peddle forth soon… Wendy x x x

  12. Archie

    Hi Jeth and Jen,
    Its amazing to think that you two have ridden so far. Wendy and myself flew over Iran at night on the way to Sri Lanka and it was just the occasional light down there so it must have been pretty sparce population. There were only alot of lights when we flew over Tabriz. Your mum is keeping us informed of your news and various tales and adventures and maladies. You must be over the hump of it by now. Both Wendy and myself will continue to follow your progress with keen interest.

    xxxx Arch and Wend

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