Iran

Free drivers license
When we enter Iran we have some scary moments. The car drivers pass us with high speed and overtake us with one inch away from the bikes. When we calm down a bit the next car is flying by. As we keep to the speedlimits of 50 km/h, they race in to town with 100 km/h. They drive like crazy! When traffic from the other direction is overtaking another car they only blink their lights and horn and expect that we move aside. And we do, otherwise we couldnot tell this...Do they hate foreigners? We ask ourselfs. But after sometime we see that they all act this way. That explains why there are 14,000 ! roadkillings in Iran every year.

Tragic: every day we see accidents along the roads.

We stop for petrol at a petrol station. Harald is filling up this fueltank. A car stops next to Udo and opens his door. Well, he wants, but his door bangs to Udo's alu box. He cannot get out and push his door harder. He shouts and wants that Udo moves forward. No way dude, wait for your turn. Then the guy pushes more and Udo decides to push his bike forward, scratching a long, deep scratch on his car door. Inshallah I say to the guy...
Later we hear that to get your drivers license in Iran you drive! to the policestation. There you have to drive the street up and down and if you can make this you have your license.
Back on the road a bus is passing us and when the black diesel fumes are vanished an arm comes out a window of the bus and a trashcan is emptied. Fruit peels, plastic cola bottles, dirty paper, everything is flying along our helmets. F**king idiots! We know, new country, new habits, but this is enough for the first day...

BB with chadors...
Everybody in the traffic is horning and blinking at us, because we have our headlights on. So they do see us but they are trying every time to push us of the road. Other country, other customs, yes we know. So we adjust...We respect the other habits but that we (male) travellers are not allowed to wear shorts in our hotel is a bit crazy. And that women travellers have to cover their hair with chadors, even in the hotel where only western tourist stay... One time we follow the Iranian habits and put our motor scarfs over our heads, to project our bald heads from the burning sun during a lunch stop along the road. Well, the Iranians did not appriciate this. Don't they have any sence of humour?

 

At the end of the day we look out for a place to camp. We spot a nice shady place along a river. An Iranian family is having a picnic and invites us for tea. The father knows a little english and they are curious where we come from and where we go. We get tea and sweets and the father is translating everything we tell to the rest of the family.

After the picnic they invite us to go to their home for dinner. We ride behind their car to their home. It's a nice house with a place to park our bikes. We take of our boots and go inside a room. After washing our hands we are seated on the floor. More tea is served while the women starts to prepare dinner. We talk more with the father and other men of the family and we share information about our  cultures. and ofcourse our suzuki's. When dinner is ready we all go to a next room where dinner is served on the floor. We all sit around  and we can eat. During the talks Udo find out that if he ask a question, the answer is replied to Harald. After a while Udo ask why this is and the men look amazed to each other. Then the father explains: Harald is a real man because he has a moustache...
After many more tea we put our sleeping bags in the room on the floor and we go to sleep. The next moring after breakfast we say goodbye. We thank them a lot for this hospitality and give a little gift to them.

In Esfahan we stay a few days to expore the city and to extend our visa. We have a transit visa for 7 days and to extend it we have to go to the "alien" office. Oooh, now we got it, we are not foreigners, we are aliens.... The extension is easy and within 30 minutes it's done. Much faster then we applied for the visa at the embassy in Holland. There we had to go 3 times to the embassy and stayed one day 7 hours to get it.
The beautiful blue Emam mosk is huge and the blue dome rise above the square and reflects in the water. People walk around the square and enjoy the summer. Around the square is a bazar and in one place the make huge copper pots and pans. They are hammered in the right shape. It's fasinating to see, but the sound is overwhelming.

 

Escort service

The landscape is quiet borrowing, it is one big desert and all the rivers are dry. There is a draught for 3 years. When we leave Bam in east Iran we have to stop at a checkpoint. We are not allowed go further. First we don't understand because the local people can drive futher. But then they explain that it is too dangerous and the policeman makes a guesture that he is cutting his throat. We have to wait for an escort. So it is only dangerous for travellers?? Why are they so worried about us now, when they try to kill us 10 times a day in traffic? After 2 hours a militair on a 175 cc Honda arrives. He is our escort. He is 1.70 m tall and has no gun. Wow, we feel safe now. He sais that we can start our bikes and he will follow us. After a few kilometers he is getting behind and a little time later we don't see him anymore. We stop and ride back but the militair is disappeared. Did he became afraid?? We decide to ride on, alone. That night we camp near the road and the next morning we ride without problems to the border with Pakistan.

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