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Get Inspired: Bike Wandering Around Iran and Turkey

1.5.2015 Locus team Blog

whole trip track

It’s autumn 2008 and I’m heading on to a long planned trip around Iran and Turkey. My vehicle is an ordinary bike. My journey will take 72 days and I’ll travel 5970 km.

Iran stage – 3850 km

Iran stage

In the beginning there was a pure and strong desire to look beyond horizon and attempt to step over it. The horizon of my previous experience from trips around the world, psychological resistance, the horizon of my physical performance. So long I kept nagging my family at home until one day the desired agreement finally came. Theoretic plans of two-three months solo bike journey started getting real contours. And then, it was 20th September and I was sitting in a plane heading for Istanbul, my bike disassembled and the traveller’s stuff packed in the luggage compartment.

Istanbul “otogar”

Istanbul

Istanbul “otogar” is really huge! More than a hundred bus companies, awful mess, shouting of a mob of barkers and vendors, all this poured out on me at the exit of the subway. 25-kilo box with the bike and a pack on my back was not an ideal situation for finding the right bus connection. However, transfer from the airport to Istanbul subway and then finding some at least appropriate bus to the place of my start went quite well. Then, twenty-hour bus travel to Agri in the Eastern part of Turkey, first night in Akbulut hostel, my “Mr. Blek” bike assembly and FINALLY! First step into the pedals.

Somewhere on the road before Turkish Dogubayazit

I’m getting used to new reality of my future life awaiting me for following 72 days. Village tykes, that half-wild blend of pastoral mongrels, no minikins, are keeping my adrenalin level pretty high. Fortunately the road traffic is not too dense. Similar situations will be my almost daily bread and also the biggest difficulty I’ll experience on the whole trip. Not always I’ll be fast enough or fetch a decent rock to shake down these monsters.

This one was pretty tame.  Yet I gave it a chunk of bread to be sure...

This one was pretty tame. Yet I gave it a chunk of bread to be sure…

On the road to Dogubayaziti

On the road to Dogubayazit

Ishak Pasha palace

Ishak Pasha palace

Dogubayazit

Dogubayazit

Crossing Iran-Turkish border…

… went fluently. “Welcome to my country!” said a black-veiled office clerk with a smile and I entered Persia. Three hundred kilometers of a decent road in temperatures around 35 degrees to Tabriz is behind me. Not even a sand storm stopped me. But the traffic rush hour in this town is almost driving me mad. Fortunately good and helpful people are plentiful in Iran so in a while, by a sketched map, I’m strolling along a street with cheap hotels and dosses. I’m no expert in bargaining but the price around 4 USD is decent and the old man who is offering it and showing a chamber of 3×1,5 m is very nice. Evening stroll around the town, fist kebap, first explaining who I am…

This Iran granpa saved me from a sand storm on the road from Mak to Tabriz. We were chatting whole afternoon till night. I spoke Czech-English plus a few words Farsi and he Farsi only. Yet, we understood each other quite well...

This Iran granpa saved me from a sand storm on the road from Mak to Tabriz. We were chatting whole afternoon till night. I spoke Czech-English plus a few words Farsi and he Farsi only. Yet, we understood each other quite well…

Kebap kiosk in Tabriz

Kebap kiosk in Tabriz

I was disentangling my way from Tabriz for two hours. Fortunately it was early morn and the traffic was only waking up. Finally, thanks to frequent asking locals for direction I’m standing atop an ugly long ascent and a sign ahead of me is showing the way to the North. To Ardabil. Finally! Anyway, the real hills are still waiting.

Country between Tabriz and Ardabil

Country between Tabriz and Ardabil

From the travel diary…

A green offroad full of soldiers or perhaps cops is coming in opposite direction. I can hear them braking behind me and turning. In a minute they caught me and stopped. An officer wants to see my documents. They are babbling all the time something like I’m not allowed to Ardabil, that I have to go back. No way! In the end, they returned my papers and I can go on… Uff, that was close but my optimism is a bit eroded…

Colorful half-desert

Colorful half-desert

To be continued…

Don Fohler
www.dofo.cz
More Don’s pictures at his Google+ >>

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