September 04, 2004 GMT
Back in Iran

tc40.jpg

Now dont you just want a bike with a plastic screen and a GLASS window in it??


...... its a game of two halves , but some barstard just moved the goal posts.......


"Mistakes are an essential part of growth, the only way to fail is not to learn from them"

So we are back in Iran - I don't think I am going to say that too many times in my life!... and its all so familiar, we are giving the taxi driver directions! Back at Tehran Base One, aka Naderi Hotel, all is well. Mo and his bro are expecting us, a room is ready and the tea is on the boil.. we go straight in to another marathon "lets speak English and learn some grammer session" - buts thats OK, fun even, we learn a lot about attitudes and customs in Iran too - With some luck - Inshallah - Mo will be in the UK before the years end - His mother is already knitting him some thing warm - he will need it... I go out to the garden and give Rodders a big hug.. he is a bit dirty and looking rather sad, three weeks chained to a lamp post is not so much fun - The morning after he gets cleaned and hugged again, his little leaks and foibles are attended too, things are tightened, bolts replaced and generally spruced... He is good to go


... and then our learning curve turns in to a cliff face....As we are in Tehran we go pay the Pakistan Embassy a visit - may as well get it here then at the border we think - but the man from Islamabad says "NO" -

"Excuse me, say that again please?"

"I am sorry we can not issue a visa to you, only Iran passport, you must go to your home country"

"But I have just come from there"

"why did you not get a visa there then?"

"..Because it took so long getting one from the Iranians!" .. I am also thinking to myself, 'Its cause I was too lazy getting fat and shagging for the last three weeks'

He smiles knowingly... We push and prod and even get an appointment with the Consul himself but to no avail.. the rules changed a couple of weeks back, only Iranians can get a Paki visa in Iran, all foreigners must go back to there home country.. he suggests that we may get an emergency visa from the Ambassador if we can get a letter of introduction from the British Embassy that will outline our journey and the need for a visa... So we go and visit a little bit of Britain Overseas... "NO" the man says on the telephone - we don't even get past reception - he can not help us achieve something that the British Government in the form of the FCO are specifically telling us not to do - Too Dangerous

..........could the upcoming USA Election have anything to do with this change of rules?? Maybe the last thing Bush needs is a few westerners being kidnapped... you see the road from Iran to Pakistan is no more then 200 kms from Afghanistan, its a very porous border and Afghan bandits have been known to try and take westerners on this stretch - the last one was 10 months agon, an Irish Guy - Ramadan probably wont help either - nor will the removal of some of the US Troops in that region... All in all it is looking as likely as an Irainian Gay Parade... "Ooo Ali, you look loverly in that chador, black just sooooo suits your eyes!""

So we are in a huge Cul De Sac, to the North is Afghanistan, or Turkmenistan, niether of which are too inviting, or will lead to India, South is Syria or the UAE, ... we are in a state of shock for a while ... some bastard just moved the goal posts.. we sit in the tea shop and consider.. flying the bikes to India? Not much point as India was the last port of call any way, only got to fly them back again then... we stare at a map, ferry to Dubai, try to get an Onion Boat (read mid sized independant frieght ship, possibly known before as a tramp steamer?) to Mumbai ... sounds a great idea, but we are not round the worlders, its a three month soujorn, an 'adventure-ette', we realise slowly that even this is a big effort for just one more country, we are short of time and the money it will take just does not compute.... we look at the map again... OK back to Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria (see Great Uncle.) Hungary, Germany and home.. white cliffs of Dover and all that... what could be finner then an Autumn Ride in the Balkans - they just better have a dam good India restaurant, thats all I say - curry for breakfast IS a valid and exceptable form of nutritoin and I was so looking forward to it..
But whilst we are in Iran we are going to enjoy it, even the hour it takes us to find the right road out of Tehran.....

...a hitting you between the eyes moment.... seen on a poster in Tehran.."Tourism, a tool for peace and dialogue amoungst civilisations" I Like that!! Lots!!!

More on the delights of Iran to come, probably from back in Turkey once images can be added... This really is a great place, I like it a lot, depsite needing some suspect Russian anti-biotics to stay alive...I dont think I will be suffering from Anthrax for a while!! oh and tommorrow we will take Chris's gearbox off to fix it..

Richard - getting used to being twinless


Posted by Richard Stone at September 04, 2004 03:56 PM GMT
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