Day 27 Wed 6th Oct – Rasht to Tabriz (Iran) – 520 km

Day 27   Wed 6th Oct – Rasht to Tabriz   (Iran)  – 520 km

Julie sends this update:

Up at 5:30 am – a lie in!  I had slept on and off since 4:00 pm the previous day. Still not feeling great but a can of coke provided by Dom started to work a bit of magic. I was able to make it to breakfast but mostly as a member of the audience. Tim was straight out in the rain to finish off the wheel and other bits and pieces before we set off at about 7:30 am.

The scenery is breathtaking. Beautifully paved roads, rocky mountains, streams and lush green grass and trees.  400 kms takes a long time though when rising and descending!

 Benson at summit of first climb day 27. In the clouds!
Benson at summit of first climb day 27. In the clouds!

A puncture stop was lightened by a lovely Iranian couple who invited us back to their house for dinner. Time not on our side so I was given a honey ice cream – delicous.

Even though we are now at a dusty workshop having tyres repaired (having had a puncture and stopping twice for smoking brakes) this is what it is all about!

Just got out to take some pictures of activity at the wheel shop but have got back in rather quickly. If anyone comes near me they will get a Julie punch(which, for those of you who have not seen it, is a terrifying prospect for any man).

Rather than any requirement for protection, we were offered succulent melon and I met Mehdi, an electronic engineer currently teaching English. Apparently there are no opportunities in his field close by so he hopes to move abroad and find a wife. Everyone could not have been more hospitable.

Benson in the wheel shop
Benson in the wheel shop

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It is now 14:20 and we have 150 km to go. That takes this 81 year old about 2 1/2 hours. When there is a good driving road that is just fine!

One point that I would like to point out is that although we are driving from Peking to Paris, Tim has not allowed me to drive. He says it is because he does not think I am strong enough to work the brakes but it is probably more to do with the fact  that I don’t really drive that well – in truth I don’t really drive.

I had hoped that 14000 km would provide an opportunity to address this but the opportunity does not seem to have arisen!!

Stopped at a passage control where Betty handed us our passports that we had left at the hotel. Unbelievable – between me being ill in bed and Tim working on Benson we totally forgot. That would have made tomorrow’s border crossing impossible – backtracking 700 km would not be fun. Thanks Betty!

Hotel with a minbar, a bath, a robe and clean sheets – no alcohol but with all the other positives – very happy!

Great day – yippee!!!