Showers of blessings 🙂
Finally, after 8 hours of driving and over 11 hours on the road, we managed to cover 550 km. This meant we took minimal breaks, and didn’t have lunch at all. And then we arrived at the borders. You can guess the obvious: Gates closed! A policeman soon appeared, and delivered his instructions – “Come yesterday.” All we could say in response was “OK Officer, we will come yesterday!” He was happy that we obeyed 🙂
So, with our plans of crossing into Azerbaijan hopelessly deferred to the next morning, we needed to find a shelter for the night. Strolling around the place, we found a small hotel. With some difficulty, we were able to request the hotel owner to call someone who could converse with us in English. So, he called his son, who helped us close the deal in his “workable English“.
The final challenge for the evening was to ease off the hunger pangs. We were told that this place being close to the border, the nearby restaurants and groceries did not stay open until late. It was already past 10:00 pm and people were pulling the shutters down. We put on our biggest smiles and scrambled to request the owner of a restaurant with half its shutter down, “Agha Salam! Man naduri farsi. We are hungry… Food… Chicken…. please give us one chicken”. The man smiled back and showed us a thumbs up. We were soooooo relieved! He placed fresh coal in his dying grill, and lighted up a flame. For all his efforts, and his over-the-top opening hours, we were stumped to see the bill – Just 500,000! Yes, half a million! Oh, we forgot to mention Iranian Rials. Don’t be baffled, this equates to only 16 US Dollars 🙂
Having eaten to our belly’s delight, we returned to our hotel. It was shisha time! A 2′ x 2′ ft balcony was now bustling with endless chatter of three men who merrily puffed-off several rounds of the hubbly, as a gentle zephyr sporadically sprayed the mist from the rain into their faces.
Part time DJ and full time shisha-lover 🙂
Although not exactly as per schedule, it was still a day well spent. Past midnight, it was already late, so we squiggled into our blankets. Also, we had to get up early tomorrow, I mean “yesterday” :).
I think I heard the faint snores of my two friends. 10 minutes later, a lovely Sleep Fairy took my hand, and I was soon flying among the stars!
Day 3 – Getting to the Caspian Sea side of Iran
As we reached Esfahan late last night, the first thing to do obviously was to sleep flat and heavy and start late the next morning. The drive from Bandar Abbas to Esfahan in a single day was a bit of stretch yesterday based on our Marshal Sham’s idea and it helped us relax today, plenty breaks on the way changing drivers, taking pictures and going around places in Esfahan. Hoor Square, Honar Bazar, Razai Park and Khaju Bridge were some of the attractions visited today in Esfahan.
Crossing a country as giant as Iran with both ends approx. 2000 kms apart takes a serious driving acumen coupled with not so interesting scenery along side the highway. Starting from Bandar Abbas on one side of the country facing UAE and Tehran towards the Caspian sea side is one long stretch approx. 1700 kms completed today. Don’t count 3 days, Day 1 was eaten up by customs clearances…
On the way we missed our team members back in dubai and missed Dubai a lot. Hence a small tribute… Burj Khalifa held high in Iran Skies>>>>
Upon reaching Tehran today evening which is a major historical city of Iran, we went for a drive around the city, which was very crowded of course with a very unfamiliar and surprisingly dangerous driving styles around. Next timers please take care while driving inside cities here, if you wanna bring your car back scratchless. Many road signals were not functioning due to unknown reasons..
Jammer took the challenge to prove his driving skills that he learnt in northern India.
The onward plan is going to be more exciting as our Trio Partner, Haris has joined us tonight in Tehran. And our route is going to be a beautiful road along the sea side via Qazvin and Rasht to Astara Border to enter Azerbaijan. The route is via and is close to another 500 kms.
We look forward to reaching Baku tomorrow.
Keep following……the best is yet to come….