The Iceman cometh and the Iceman goeth away.

The Iceman Cometh

After Zanjan we were determined to get away from the main road truck drone and decided to head towards the hillier/ more remote parts of Western Iran. However the weather had a different agenda. For the first two days were soaked in freezing rain. This necessitated drying off every two hours in front of gas heaters at random truck stops. Meanwhile our chosen road towards Hamadan and the interior turned out to be a mean dangerous one with no hard shoulder and rocket powered trucks going past like flying bricks. So after a U turn we made one more attempt at heading to the mountain plateau only to be intimidated by a  fresh fall of snow on the nearby foothills. Enough was enough and we returned to the main road drone, which, while not the most exciting bike r0ute in the world, at least offered a safe hard shoulder and a direct channel to the cities of the south.

Meanwhile at our lowest ebb, damp, tired and staring at impenetrable peaks our guardian angel arrived in the shape of an articulated lorry. By now we were used to Iranians pulling  over almost hourly to give us pomegranates and advice. But this driver without any other introductions gave Jet a silver ring with an amber stone and then went back to his cab to find Jen a stone necklace with which she  garlanded her handlebars.

The next day while riding through a post apocolyptic desert landscape in fine drizzle where the only landmark was a power station plastered with  images of the Ayatlollahs the same truck driver pulled up and gave us a complete cooked lunch with two lots of drinks and snacks . It was clear he had bought it especially and was looking out for us on the desert road to once again bestow his kindness.

Those of you following this blog since its inception may remember Mr Moped a virtual two wheeler whose job it was to speed ahead of us in France and close all the likely eating and watering holes when we most needed them. We now like to think  that Mr Moped has had a conversion experience and has been reborn as this very man whose job it is to follow us round  like a support vehicle.

Heading south the sun popped its head back out  and after a couple more homestays (ranging from a sweet bunch of mechanics who shared a room with a mouse and a gas stove to a middle class family with two adorable young girls, talented artists) we arrived in Kashan, a sleepy fuzzily warm  hearted oasis city, a place where  not much happens very prettily. We are staying in a gorgeous hotel renovated from a merchant mansion and taking a day off doing anything involving wheels or sightseeing. Tea and cake are stamped on the agenda.

Tomorrow we head up a few hills towards the city of Isfahan where we hope we can renew our visa, if not we have to stick the bikes on the bus…. Isfahan is mid way down Iran and a good stop off before we venture into the hotter desert landscapes of the south. 

Iran continues to confuse and engage us like a mirage. Or a hot game of chess.

j n j x x

The Iceman Goeth Away

Jet Cycling towards Soltanayeh mosque

Jen and door knocker Kashan. Round door knockers for men and long ones for ladies so the owner knew who should answer the door.
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14 Comments

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14 responses to “The Iceman cometh and the Iceman goeth away.

  1. Joe Med

    Zoweee! The intrepid explorers peddle on!
    Hope you enjoyed your day of cake and tea in the town of ‘Not much very prettily’ (love that!)
    Glad that Mr moped has had his positive epiphany! That lorry driver is a dude!!
    Good luck with your climb and visa busyness tomorrow.
    Well wishings 🙂

  2. matthew

    wow.
    all sounds really exciting.
    I want adventure too….
    I’m off to brazil for three weeks monday.
    got a gig with Kathy.

  3. Robin (Aunt Rob)

    Your blog continues to entertain and inform with the added pleasure of great pictures.

    Love your guardian angel truck driver Also the door knockers! Wonder if they sell them over here! : )

    best,
    Aunt Rob xx

  4. Jon

    here’s to more food proffering truckers – hope you find cake and tailwinds
    Jon xx

    • Ah Jon we found too much cake (now we have toothache!) but the truckers are looking after us (when they’re not rolling into the hard shoulder and doing that going up hill gear shift smoke guff…) jj xx

  5. Jet's Mum

    My view of Iran becomes more positive with each blog entry.
    xxMum

  6. Annie Prangs

    What a super brilliant truck driver! So pleased there are great people like that looking after you both!
    I have photos from Mum’s birthday but don’t know how to post them on this-what is your email so I can send them to you (have lost my entire email address book at work since moving from a Mac to a PC – booooooooo! Mum loved her scarf-were the perfect colours for her!
    x

  7. Annie Prangs

    Oh, and I hear mum has invited some of your Iranian hosts to come stay with her and dad-funny! x

  8. Hi
    Just wanted to let you know how thrilled we are to be able to watch your progress.

    Glad you were able to get the visa. Stay safe.

    Auntie Kath & Uncle Pete xx

  9. Bril. Thrilled to see you got your Visa. Loving all the pics. Take care and stay safe. Love
    Auntie Kath & uncle Pete xx

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