Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Day 379-383: To Lahijan

  Misty morning in the mountain

Just when I was struggling with the headwind and ascend, a family pulled up their car asking if I needed any help and later on invited me to camp with them for the night. He was an English teacher and was having a 1 week holiday with his family.
Its my first camping experience with the local and I was very fascinated by the camping equipments they used. Such popped up tent is very commonly used here in Iran it almost felt like every family has one. The camping gears they used were basically what they used in their everyday life... carpets (yes they bring carpets), duvets, pillows, big pots/pans, glass cups etc. If you see a car loaded with lots of stuff you can easily guessed they are going out camping or having picnic.

Fresh bread

Before we bid farewell the next day, we stopped by the roadside to have some very juicy watermelons. 

Anita & Aray

Jafar, Esmaeili, Anita, Aray.... thank you for the short but lovely time together

Lots of Paddy fields along Caspian sea

They were so excited and waving so hard to stop me and were very fascinated to see a solo female cyclist, mind you they were very proud of me. *Blushed*
Everyday I get stopped by many people (willingly and reluctantly depending on situations) who wants to take photos or simply just want to find out 'Where I'm from'.
Today is yet another day where a guy on motorbike stalked me. He keeps following me, disappearing off and suddenly appeared again driving alongside me... once again my tolerance maxed out after a few kilometers and had to shout at him to bugger off.
To be honest, I felt really exhausted of such overwhelming attentions and disgusting men's behaviour.
Sometimes I wished they can just leave me alone and give me some personal space.

I didn't want to camp that night as I'm not sure if the pervert will appear again so I seeked help from the locals in the city. Eventually I ended up in the fire station hoping they would let me camp but because I'm classified as 'Tourist' to them, its not convenient for me to stay but they wouldn't let me go and I was getting really tired. While they were all trying to find me a place to stay, they brought me dinner, thankfully. Then another officer came and said I can stay in a motel for free.


Persian scrambled eggs with tomatos.
The next day I managed to get hold of my friend and he came round to play host for the day. Unfortunately I found out later on that the staff at the motel saw him and took money off him.

Lahijan, the first tea plantation town - rows & rows of tea plantations

They snacked on boiled beans...

Took a drive up to Deylaman / Molomeh area
Beautiful landscape!


Time for some kebab

Apologies if this photo is disgusting to some but this is commonly seen along the road.. eateries just hang these meats outside

Does the guy on the right looks familiar? He is Goodarz, the cyclist I met on the road in Armenia
He is the host I mentioned and is now showing me around!

Delicious lunch

All smiles :)

Zahed Gilani's Shrine

We then gathered at his friends place for a meal & some karaoke session... By the way, all of them are cyclists!

''The Cyclists"

  Thanks Goodarz! Nice catching up with you and meeting all your cyclist friends, they made me laugh so hard. I had 3 cars with their hazard lights on escorting me out of the city... how cool is that. haha

They camped everywhere and anywhere, sometimes even by the roadside, car park etc.
The problem is they create alot of rubbish and many times they just leave the rubbish lying around.


I arrived at my next destination in the dark after riding 126km under full day rain. I was soaked to my underwear and my shoes were like fish tank. But my host and friends there gave me a very crazy welcome like a heroine just won a battle. Yes they made me felt like a heroine for carrying on in the rain where news next day were showing floods, landslides, road closures etc in the area.

Me, Mohammad, Sebestian (Romanian touring cyclist) and Mohammad (Iranian touring cyclist but now going on motorbike)

My host is a touring enthusiast too

Some other local touring cyclists who came round to say hello.

I stole Mohammad's shades without him knowing

My host's bike and his toy - Dumbo

He likes to paddle without shoes

Sebastian and Mohammad were toying with the idea of putting the bike on the motorbike and ride to Tehran as no vehicles were allow to pass due to the road closure from recent rain

Mohammad DJ-ing

C'mon, get ya body moving

Dumbo, Haha and hilarious Mohammad

How sweet? I don't know how to react... they were picking flowers for me

Haha having a suntan after getting soaked in the rain

Yippy!!! Watermelon for dessert!!!

Sebastian made dinner for everyone

We had news that the road reopen (maybe) again and decided to head to the next town to hitch hike to Tehran

Small truck drivers wanted to charge us ridiculous price, so went to try our luck at the bus station hoping to find a bus to Tehran. Bus were running but traffic were so bad that it took us 8hrs to travel 200km.

17 Jul 15: 47.44km [Cloudy]
19 Jul 15: 126.11km [Very heavy rain]
21 Jul 15: 31.02km [Sunny]

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