Sunday, May 10, 2009
IRAN - DAY 3
Another crazy day. 20KMs done and I am looking for somewhere to eat in a town. A man pulls up in a jeep and offers me tea in his workplace. His english is good and like all the Iranian people I have met he is extremely welcoming and his workplace is only 200 metres away. I thought it would be interesting to have tea and a chat with him and I'll be on my way again in 20 or 30 minutes, But 4 hours later I'm back on the bike. Its just unreal. Everything was decided for me. I would stay in this town tonight, have a meal with 1 family, be "driven" to the city of Trabiz, and stay with someone else here and that afternoon or else the following day, I was to be shown some sights around Tabriz and the neighbouring towns. The desire to be accommodating is just simply overwhelming. Family and friends are such a massive part of Iranian culture and maybe because I'm a solo cyclist I am perceived to be lonely. It was 11pm when I finally made it to the city of Tabriz. It was way too dark to be cycling in a city with chaotic traffic and a population of 2 million. A young man gave me directions and then, a moment later, ran down the street after me, to give me his phone number, "If you get lost, you can ring me". A young cyclist helped me find a hotel. Its US$2 a bed in a 3 bed dorm. I was exhausted and decided to pay the US$6 for the room. He cycled around with me for 40 minutes to bring me to the city centre to where the hotels are. I have no idea where he lived or how far I was putting him out of his way. He refused any tip offered but asked for my email address instead. I wrote it on a 20,000 rial (about US$2). So he finally accepted it. Iran is just so,so much. I never expected anything like this. It is the most welcoming country I've been to by a long way. Its almost too much really. I'm exhausted. I've had 1 rest day since Istanbul (almost 2,000KMs away). I'm booked into a decent (2 star for US$20) hotel tomorrow. It is still a very achievable to cycle across Iran by 22/5/09.