Hit on the Head and Offered Breakfast

First sighting of Camels

Passing a small village Jet was a bit shocked to have a teenager on the rear pillion of a motorbike hit him on the back of the head with a stick. It was a very frail stick that immediately snapped but it was still a surprise given we haven’t actually been hit in 6 months of bike touring. Further down the road in a Cay shop a friendly young man offered us to stay the night with his family but following him back down the road we found the house was in the same place as the village where the motorbike kid had been. After some persuading we went back to the house and met a very friendly and hospitable extended family who were profusely apologetic about the behaviour of the kid.

We suppose this could happen in any small community where bored teenagers like to show off. Elsewhere we have recieved nothing but kindness and hospitality eg in just one day different cars slowed down to offer us sweets, a sandwich and welcome us to Iran “its fantastic you’re here” + having lunch bought for us at a cafe and in a bike shop the assistant taking out the inner tube from his own bike when we needed a new one.

Currently we are in Zanjan. Jet has a stomach bug which we hope will clear up soon before we begin the long haul to Esfehan. Jen is well and has mastered the cycling in headscarf attire.

j n j x x

Sand Art Village between Tabriz and Zanjan



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24 responses to “Hit on the Head and Offered Breakfast

  1. Proud Dad

    Love the sand art village! Your weather appears pretty poor at the moment? Are you considering swapping tyres for camels? Given Jet’s four leg experience perhaps I should avoid that suggestion. I am led to believe that the ‘thumbs up’ gesture in Iran is the equivalent of two fingers, have you come across many conflicting expressions / gestures?
    Here’s hoping Jet’s downturn is shortlived. Hope you can find more veggie Jen.
    Looking forward to more of your interactions with others – hopefully not involving sticks!
    More wind on your backs, keep inspiring us Dad X

    • Hi Dad, I think its best we stay on the bikes! If that is the case re the thumbs up then we’ve offended a lot of Iranians already! as we use it all the time for OK as we dont speak enough Farsi (oops come to think of it we use it about 5 times a day eek) Wind is on our backs and out our ***** oweing to all the baked beans which is the only veggie options so far Lots of love Jen xx

  2. Joe Med

    Just to say that despite the fact that you chose to desert us all and cycle off into the blue, you’re still not forgotten! You’re adventures regularly come up in conversation in a mixture of shire awe and fond well wishes. Was in St. Werbs community centre last night and talking to Katy about how amazing you guys are +how great it is to get the updates as you go along! Makes it more tangable/real somehow…and more impressive when you tell someone in an air of nochalance “oh they just cycled into Iran this week” !! Sorry to hear bout your ‘sticky’ incident but glad that the rest of the locals welcome you. Yup, there are show off teenagers on every other street of every town in the world I guess. No escaping them! Must’ve been a shock though.
    Hope the stomach is back on course soon (you’re gunna have iron stomachs after all this travelling!) and so too your legs cycling to Esfehan. Wishing you a smooth and stickless journey.

    • Joe brill to hear we are still “news” in Bristol. Sometimes it does feel like we’re in our own little bike world and sometimes its only the blog that makes us realise there’s a whole crowd of people there with us back home. No more sticks and I hope it stays that way… Off to bed now for snoozin and more peddlin in the sand… jet and jen xx

  3. Jon

    consider this a virtual rub better, hope the rest of Iran is more friendly

    • Wow a virtual rub. Can you get that in pots? Thanks Jon Its certainly helped as the back of my noddin and my bike ego is completely recovered. rest of Iran so far is very welcoming- no sticks..

  4. Jet's Mum

    Good things and bad things but on the whole more good.
    The Iranian people sound wonderfully hospitable. Keep those memories warm in your hearts.

    love Mum

  5. Robin (Aunt Rob)

    Sitting here in Montreal, living a life of comfortable routine, certainly contrasts the trip you are on.. I love The Sand Art village – it looks otherworldly, and a very real reminder that trips like this are rare today, providing a window into other cultures and the warmth and hospitality of people on the whole (excluding stick episode which hopefully is a ‘one-of’ incident).

    Hope stomach problems are behind you soon and that your trip continues to be enlightening and energizing.

    Aunt Rob

  6. Hi you intrepid travellers

    That sand art village picture is astonishing. What makes it more so is that you are on two wheels and can get the picture directly to our screen at home – clear as a hd tv screen.

    Well done and keep on keeping on

    Ken and Jane – Wellington

  7. Andy Skellam

    Hey Jet hey Jen, glad to see your well on your way to India. Pics look amazing, particularly the sand art village and that one that looks like a spaceship. Is it a spaceship? I have to admit Jet I’ve been a bit slack with folktales, well actually it’s my friends who I ask to play that don’t turn up. They live in the clouds like me you see. Oh well at least it’s still going, even if there will only be a couple of people in the audience when you get back.

    Happy travelling!

    p.s – Please bring me back a camel and a beautiful Indian girl (get her to ride the camel). Oh and a nice rug please. Ta XX

    • We have several Indian girls in our panniers and apparently one of them likes beards. If the folk tales troubadour doesn’t turn up then surely Monsieur Fingerless or a badger could stand in for them…? I don’t think its a spaceship do you mean the salt mine in Romania one? We are thinking of cycling to Mars as we’ve heard there is good toast there. Funny yesterday we were thinking of you Andy- we were in a Bazaar in Kashan in Iran and found a ” A musical fashion fish” (a toy xylophone in the shape of a fish)

      Jet Jen xx

      • Andy Skellam

        My god that sounds like a heavenly fish, I reckon if I played one of them I’d become the next Joanna Newsom or something. There is very good toast on Mars, I went there once on a package holiday, you’ve got to wear special sandals though or your feet burn. I’m living back at my Mum’s to save up to travel around South America, it’s driving me mad but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. The dog keeps barking, I think I’ll cellotape his stupid face up!

        Happy happy joy joyXx

      • You are the next Joanna Newsom or something.


  8. Andy Skellam

    P.s – Keep that Indian girl safe, the one that like’s beards. Any news on the camel?

    • Joe Med

      Bloody ‘ell Andi you’ve only been gone a cuppla days! That dog must be barking a lot! (I find gaffa tape best)…Maybe Venus would be a cheaper option? I’m sure there are girls and camels there.
      As Mr Fingerless has already stood in at Folk Tales, this month we’re bringing out the tapdancing badger, hope that sounds ok?
      By the way, I’ve always thought of you as a Joanna Newsom al a Fish! 🙂

      • Yup tapdancing badgers cats woodpeckers antelopes. Whatever it takes to keep the show rolling. Please dim the lights for the badgers tho. The first rule of folk tales is “do not be unkind to badgers” as they have very tiny sensitive eyes. And noses.
        PS anyone else reading these comments. We have not gone mad. This is “witty Bristol banter” with too many in jokes to explain without confusing everyone. Including me.


    • The Indian girl is safe and apparently she still likes beards. Hang on a minute….yup she still likes em, she says can you buy her a nice jumper with zig zag patterns for when she gets into Easton. The camel….well we’ll try and get one to walk along behind the bikes but the Indian girl has thing about their hump smell, wait minute…. no its not the smell its the feel of the humps. So it may have to be one or the other. Girl or Camel? New gameshow?


      • Andy Skellam

        I’ll keep my beard then. Maybe you can gaffa tape the girl to the camel, she’ll learn to love the feel of it’s hump. If she complains just tell her I’ve started knitting her the most beautiful zig zaggy jumper known to man, so zig zaggy in fact that the confusion it causes in your frontal lobe actually disrupts the the sandstorm particles in your cerebrum brain cortex vestibule making it appear invisible to the naked eye, (this is probably too scientific even for you Jethro). In other news, the other very dark and starry night, when walking back from the bus stop I walked into a hedgehog which rolled into a ball and bowled along the road, I looked up (to try and spot God laughing at me) and saw a shooting star. I took it as a sign and went home to buy a single to Mexico, so I’m off in two weeks to drink tequila and partake in some shamanic peyote rituals on the beach.

        Happy travels los squideros, you keep that girl and camel safe you hear me! Xx

      • Hey my zig zag man. Have a mexico party for us. Dont worry the girls safe (we’ve used two rolls of gaffer tape to be sure).

        May your hedgehogs always lead to shooting stars…

        j n j xx

  9. Andy Skellam

    Or something!x

  10. Hey that Grandfather of yours from down Somerset way – you know the one with the dickie knees – was seen crawling into a little childrens garden house with Grandma screaming don’t and other such caring type expressions. Once in, he couldn’t turn and had to physically lift the house so that he could look out to have his photo taken for the local cycle club.
    We really think you two have inspired him and look out – he was asking about wordpress. His tour will be entitled Adventures in a pub garden.

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