Day 28 Thu 7th Oct – Tabriz to Erzurum (Turkey) – 590 km

Day 28   Thu 7th Oct – Tabriz to Erzurum   (Turkey)  – 590 km

Update from Julie via text at 13.15 UK time: Someone has just thrown a rock full force at the windscreen. Lucky that it didn’t break but it still shakes you up!

Where the rock hit the windscreen
Where the rock hit the windscreen

Julie writes at 11.12am UK time:

Show me the way to go home… Turkey today – feels like the beginning of our final stages of reaching home!  8:10am and we have knocked 150 km off the 600 km allocated – still need to cross the border from Iran to Turkey as well. We are hoping to be one of the first cars so that it’s as short as possible. After that border they are relatively simple. 4 more countries to go until we see those gorgeous familiar faces!!

Last night when we arrived at the hotel, we were informed that the Vice President of Iran  was hosting a dinner for the rally. Cars were sent to pick up participants and ferry them to the venue. We stayed behind. Wise choice given that VP did not show and it all went on for a long while. Given that we were all left without hotel rooms after a long day after entering Iran, the substitute “PE teacher” representing Iran apparently did not go down well.

Fellow roof companions.
Fellow roof companions.

As usual Tim had to work on car when we arrived at the hotel. Tightening of wheel bolts following smoking brakes and daily requirement for wooden spokes to be expanded by wet towels.

Scenery again today is beautiful. Sunlit mountains with smooth roads gliding in and out of valleys. There will be a ceremonious dumping of my headscarf and loose fitting clothes later. Hair down  and  wine!  Let’s party!!

Got to border at about 10 and out again at 11:45 am. Usual chaos and added tension caused by queue bargers. This time it was the Parisian car  and Tim decided to walk away whilst I gently questioned WHAT THE HELL THEY WERE DOING?  There we are, all orderly, all under pressure and some $.’;;”)_+ thinks that it’s within their right  to force their way through quicker than anyone else. Gets my goat.

Especially as we had noticed a buckled rim on the wheel which meant a tyre change once we were through the border.  I could go on but repetitive swearing gets a bit boring

Tyre changed, off we pootled until the next big crunch as something whacked the bottom of the car.  Further inspection revealed that the handbrake rod had snapped with the back half dropping into the road and bending back into the car. I now consider myself as a fully qualified mechanic having got so far under the car that only my legs were sticking out. Having removed the split pin and cotter pin (ha ha) I emerged with the offending rod with a token smothering of oil.

The official document required to get out of last border exit into Turkey. Torn strip of paper!
The official document required to get out of last border exit into Turkey. Torn strip of paper!

Every car that passes us (which is most) gesticulates the same drinking motion. Our 3 days of abstinence has made us all thirsty and we are sure that the 700 kms tomorrow will be harder with many sore heads

Mobiles and emails will be working now for the duration of the trip – so pleased to be getting near to home.

Our first proper bar since we set off from Beijing.  They have ice and glasses.  We are so happy!!!!
Our first proper bar since we set off from Beijing. They have ice and glasses. We are so happy!!!!