Week 24: Persepolis and Shiraz
After a quiet night, heading back towards Shiraz. First through Abadeh and a bit further to Surmaq, then into the Iranian mountainous area. After Eqlid, there was a tunnel I knew nothing about, but fortunately, some men in a pickup warned me in advance. There was little space to cycle, so I got lucky. After taking a photo of an old crashed truck, I realized a man had made it his home. Then, down a little hill, I reached Aspas, where a man directed me to a place and I thought, why not. Later, I found another touring cyclist – a Swede. Apparently, they thought I was with him. We had some rice, kebab, and a place to sleep for about 5 euros.
Together with the Swede, heading towards Shiraz. Within the first few kilometers, the lucky one had his first flat tire since his departure. Gave him some tips as an experienced unlucky person, and we continued our journey. The first cyclist not faster than me. Around noon, a tomato farmer invited us for a meal. After asking around for a bakery, we started the climb. He decided to walk up the mountain, which was fine. Cycling isn’t much faster than walking uphill, and I waited for him. Only later did I realize he was also walking downhill. That was a bit too much for me; the joy of climbing is enjoying the descent. I wasn’t going to wait for that. When it was flat again, I had some food. But when I couldn’t see him, I decided to move on. Along beautiful mountains, and after a village, it was almost dark. A trucker offered a place to sleep. Another 15 km on a fortunately quiet road. Next to a small shack where mom and dad were sleeping, I could stay.
The next morning, the Swede was quite a bit behind me. So, back on the road alone, starting in Garmabad, I was only a few kilometers away from Persepolis. First, visited Naqsh-e Rostam and another fragment somewhere in the mountains, not worth the money. Then, in Persepolis on time, looked at some more impressive fragments, and after walking around the campus for 2 hours, I had seen enough.
And I could head towards Shiraz, another 70 km, and then take some rest. I realized I had pushed hard those days, covering 900 km in eight days. Two more small climbs, and before it was really dark, I found myself in Shiraz. Where I might take it a bit easier again.
Days 4 to 6: Rest days
The French cyclist was also in Shiraz after touring extensively in Iran. Together with him, some other visitors, and people from other hostels, enjoyed mosques and other sights in Shiraz. And, of course, some drinks and camaraderie in Iran. Also had a meal with another cyclist from Georgia whom I had met in Tehran.
Day 7: Heading towards Bandar Abbas
The other cyclists went in different directions, and I set off alone towards the coast. After about 120 kilometers, exchanged some bikes with a guy and had a meal in a village. Then pitched my tent somewhere among the palm trees.