Saturday, 22 September 2007

Day 122 - Zanjan

Leaving Tabriz was not a great deal of fun, the road started going uphill as soon as we left the hotel and it was busy. 39km later we reached the top of the hill at 2180m, ok it wasnt steep, but it did go on a bit. As were going up we were stopped by a journalist who asked lots of questions and took some photos and said he would email us a copy of the finished artical. We found a nice place to stop for lunch outside a mineral water plant that had a lovely lawn and some trees for shade, watered with the mineral water I guess. At about 16:30 we bought water a found a nice spot to camp by a farm, and they kindly gave us permission and later brought us far too many tomatoes and courgettes. The night was cold, down to 6 degrees, but we were camping at 1922m, so hardly surprising.

Yesterday was so much better. We were near the new motorway to Tehran so most of the traffic had been taken away from the road we were on and whats more it was very gently down for 100km, so gently we hardly noticed, but we lost 650m of height. While we were stopped for lunch we were given a bunch of grapes and the afternoon was great through a gorge through the mountains. We then went through a town were a group of men gave Judith far more attention than she wanted as Andre and I were doing the shopping. We generally get a lot of attention and have our photo taken regularly, they never ask, but we have to ask to photograph them otherwise they dont like it. We started to head through the mountains again and we decided to buy water at the next village and then camp, but unfortunately the next village didnt arrive for about 30km and it was very nearly dark. As we were asking in a cafe for permission to camp a guy, Hussein, arrived and said we could camp at his house. We followed him through the very basic village and were joined by a growing number of men on motorbikes. At his house there was nowhere to camp but he invited us in to stay the night. The house was very basic, two rooms, one tap that was outside and a squat loo at the end of the garden in a mud building. He went out and bought food to cook, a real batchelors dinner of rice and tuna with a pile of naan. His brother Mohammet join us and we had a good evening despite the language barriers of German, Farsi and English. Both brothers worked in the fields growing melons and they went off and returned with 2, wonderfully fresh, delicious. We had a long day and were all shattered so we turned in at 22:00.

Today we were up at 7 and Hussein went out and bought more naan and we had that with cheese and as the previous night eaten while sat on the floor (photo), this time we were joined by his nephew. When we departed we saw both of the brothers within 10km of the village as they went off on their motrbikes. Today was a bit of a bore as the scenery was a valley to our left and the rest being dry hills. There were no end of onions being made ready for market along with melons. During the morning we stopped for some biscuits and Judith was a little way behind us. When she arrived she wasnt best pleased as she talked to Andre in German. She had once again been given too much attention from a motorcyclist so from now on at least one of us will have to stay with her. She now calls us her bodyguards. We stopped for lunch at an orchard where there was some nice shade as the temperature was 40 degrees. An old man wandered over and sat with us. Whilst he was there he sorted through a pile of rotten old apples and gave about 15 of the best. Thankfully he left before us and we returned them to the pile. Today was shorter at 85k, but the opposite to yesterday and very gently up and over 500m gained, but hardly noticed.

1 comment:

dad said...

It's now Saturday 22nd September and the comments seemed to have dried up, so here I am trying to kick-start them again. As you said before you got to Iran, the people are very friendly and seem always willing to share what little they have with you. Pleased to know you are coping OK with Ramadam, and getting plenty to eat. I wonder if there is such a thing as courgette poisoning?