Day 25 Mon 4th Oct – Ashgabad to Gorgan (Iran) – 550 km
UPDATE 06/10/10 22.55: Email from Julie:
We left early to get through the Iranian border – largely due to a navigator error as I thought the leave time was 2 hours before it actually was. Ended up being a good thing – we crossed in a relevantly quick time of 3 hours. It was the usual chaos and bun fight but one only tends to get het up if the result of the chaos is that you’re there for nearly a whole day and then have to drive 600 km in a clapped out old banger.
Queue bargers have been noted – always the same people!!!
The response that met us exiting the control was unbelievable – a huge crowd of people clapping us through. Really lifted the spirits (until we were held at the border exit for another hour).
We have two full days of driving through Iran. The scenery is amazing as are the majority of the people. The enthusiasm and excitement is incredible whilst driving through the towns.
Attention from one person or a small group is great but en masse is petrifying. The car is constantly surrounded by other cars, bikes and people cutting in front at speed to take pictures and Iranians are not that great at driving anyway.
On the not so nice side – one car was surrounded by bikes, brought to a standstill and its occupants robbed of all their money, documents and passports. Worse a female was “manhandled”.
Still no direct communication form Benson’s crew so it must be a GPS and mobile signal failure at their end. The main rally blog said that the welcome in Iran was stunning with members of the Iranian Motor Federation greeting the P2P rally with great warmth and enthusiasm. The quality of the roads is apparently stunning. I could steal some more of their content but as this is a blog about Benson, Tim and Julie’s adventure (rather than a generic report of P2P) I shall refrain!