Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 94 (Iran): Maku - just before Marand (in for the long haul)

daily distance: 173km
total distance: 6362km
riding time: 8-9h

The story of the day is rather short - quite in contrast to the length of the riding time and distance. I started in Maku and continued down the valley trying to figure out more about what was around me. A different alphabet doesn’t make orientation easier and different transcribing on maps and street signs can be confusing. Translations can be fun though (it asks you to maintain a low speed) …

The day was hot and long. I hadn’t planned on riding for as long as I did, but the places inbetween were unappealing. The heat was oppressive but was long as I kept moving things were OK. The ride was supposed to be flat, but 800m altitude is anything but. It was varied though. Desert-like stretches were interspersed with places that were lush and green and much more pleasant to ride in. It was also good fun to just feel cold water over your body, especially given that I am riding in long pants, which makes things a bit less fun.

Towards the end of the day I tried finding a place and having covered 100 miles (162km), I was ready to bag it, but couldn’t find a place for a good long time. People I asked turned me away (most likely because I didn’t make myself clear I think) or there were too many people milling around. In one town I asked and after 20 minutes of discussion among the locals there was still no result. Plenty of great places abounded though and language wasn’t an issue. The first person spoke some English, but it seemed to me that his wife’s English was much better. She however didn’t intervene, but it was clear that the sporadic sentences her husband whipped out didn’t impress her. Another person came into the conversation and translated things, but that didn’t lead anywhere either.

In the end I moved on, about to bike into Marand and into the upcoming wind (very fierce now), but then an older man called me over and after a bit of back and forth we figured out what the deal was. He let me sleep under the roof of his garden hut and brought me a big bowl of apricots, was intensely curious as I cooked my pasta and despite the language barrier we had a good time. I was done though - the long day had definitely taken its toll on my body. From what I can tell, I downed 12 liters of fluids over the course of the day, which is a bit on the high side. Won’t do that any more.

There are good news on the donation side of things: as some of you remember, the delivery of some spare parts took a bit longer than anticipated. DPD has however agreed to donate EUR 500 in total. Thank you very much for this support!!!


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