Around noon, I left the house where I could stay because at 2 o’clock, the third new rear tire was arranged at a bicycle shop. It was second-hand, but a Schwalbe, and had only been ridden for 500 m.
In the north, I had some issues with flat tires again. This should be good for a while now.
Around half-past 3, I just had enough time to cycle out of Tehran and head towards Isfahan, about 500 km south of Tehran. On the highway, I noticed a few bags falling to the ground and encountered some issues. I quickly moved everything to the side of the road. Unfortunately, there was considerable damage to my left bag with a tear and a broken connecting piece. I made some quick roadside repairs and looked for a camping spot. Next to a large temple just outside the city, there was enough space, and I set up my tent. The mosque of Imam Husseini.
Fell asleep early and was eager to hit the road again. I had already jumped out of my bed before 6, and by half-past 5, I was on my way. After a quick breakfast, I encountered many ruins and interesting sights along the road. Around 4 o’clock, I cycled quickly through Qom, and unfortunately, it was getting dark early in the evening. I felt like I could go on with the 6 weeks’ worth of accumulated energy. After about eight hours, I found a spot next to a sand pile to lay down my air mattress and sleeping bag. It was a long day of cycling, covering approximately 180 km.
After another good night’s sleep in the open air, I set off towards Kashan. No time for long stops, as I was in a hurry to reach Esfahan and then Shiraz, 900 km from Tehran, especially considering the expiring visa. If I was sure I had enough time, I could take it easy, considering there was plenty to see. However, you can’t stop everywhere and see everything. After a sunny day and some wind, I cycled 115 km and found a place to eat. The options were limited in the barren landscape, and it was already dark. There was a police checkpoint near the shops, and there was a nice rest area where I could sleep without needing the tent. Just before Natanz.
Day 4 Isfahan
There were about 150 km left to Isfahan, which motivated me to pedal harder. I didn’t mind the heat of 30 degrees anymore, and the wind was less strong that day. All good signs to keep going. After some beautiful clouds and a small climb in the morning, I reached a point where people suggested taking another route. However, the app indicated otherwise, so I decided to be stubborn again, and it turned out well. It was incredibly hot, and there were few options for food, but there were many old walls, ruins, and beautiful mountains. Not a place for a family day trip, but with enough water, I could enjoy it immensely. Then, a long stretch over a straight and dull road, followed by a highway mostly downhill to Isfahan. Beautiful mountains and a sunset later, I arrived in a suburb of Isfahan in the dark. I had a host in Isfahan, so I confidently headed towards the city with the assurance of a place to sleep. Around 8 o’clock, I was in Isfahan and met my host, who, along with his friend, guided me through the city to his house. Later, I had some Aragsagi with them in a park.
Day 5 Rest Day
Explored the city, looking for a sewing shop that could repair my bag. Later, I had dinner in the city with the host and some other people from a carpet shop.
Left Isfahan under the “pace” motto, despite having a rest day after cycling 450 km in 3 days. After Isfahan, I reached Baharestan and gathered some food for the way to Shiraz. After a calm day of 80 km, with many pomegranate sellers, I was in Shahreza. I was told it was the pomegranate city. There, I looked for a place to sleep. At first, a jeweler said I could sleep in a park, but later, one of the employees offered me a place to stay in their guesthouse.
The next morning, I noticed I was missing a screw in my rack. I quickly found a new one in the city. Then, I stocked up on water and food for the day since you never know when you’ll find something along these routes. Along the road, there are plenty of camping spots, and there are always people picnicking who offer you something. Then, in Shurjestan, it had gotten dark, so I looked for a place to sleep. After asking around, a man knew a place. We had some food together, and then he offered me a cottage that wasn’t on the maps to sleep in.