Search for camels and Christmas in Bam

The moment we put our bags on our bicycles it starts raining. Just a few drops, so we decide to go. After 100 meters we stop to put on our rain pants.

It’s raining a lot more now. We take a shelter at a fruit stall and we eat a banana. When the rain is almost finished we head back to our bikes. It’s almost dry now but the streets are covered with mud and soon not only our bikes are dirty but we are as well. Rain in Iran is possible.

We leave Yazd Yazd behind us and we are going to search camels. Along the road there are signs warning us for camels. In the loneliness of the scenery it will be a nice challenge to spot a camel. Unfortunately we aren’t lucky. But we have something else to celebrate: 10.000 km! When we arrive in Bafq in the evening we ask for a hotel. Five motorbikes bring us to a kind of police office. Here seems to be a guesthouse. We are welcome after our passports have been checked by 5 different policemen.

A tough day follows. We keep on going uphill and the road goes different than our map shows. Our average speed goes down to 12 km/hour. After 67 km we decide to take a hitch-hike. A pick-up brings us to Kuhanan where our room is heated by a small oil heater. Because the beds look kind of dirty we sleep on our own mattresses….

In the morning we climb a bit further up to 2600 meters. Here we find a beautiful spot where Steven cooks a delicious meal of spaghetti for lunch. A beautiful way down follows to Zarand. The hotels in town are full and this time we end up in a teachers home. A beautiful house where the local teachers can stay. They aren’t there at the moment so we own the house all by ourselves.

The kilometers on our way to Kerman are the last ones we will cycle in Iran. The part up to the border seems to be unsafe. In the past there have been some kidnappings of cyclists. In this part there’s drugs smuggling as well. In Kerman we polish our bicycles before we go to the bus station. With a strange feeling in our stomachs we buy tickets to Bam. It’s easy to buy the tickets and our bikes go for free. Our bus driver thinks a bit different about this the moment he sees us. When we are at the point to bring back our tickets to the office, the bus driver changes his mind and he puts our bikes in his bus. Behind a window we move on in Iran and we wonder how this part can be unsafe. We haven’t felt unsafe for a moment in Iran……

We spend Christmas in Bam. Exactly two years ago Bam was hit by an earthquake. When we cycle from the bus station towards the guesthouse of MR Akhbar we see still the facts. Everywhere there’s a mess from stones and dust to smashed children cribs. Everywhere people work very hard to rebuilt Bam again. Most of the people live in sea containers where the shops are built in as well.

Our stay in Bam makes a great impression on us. Mr. Akhbar tells us about the quake. He tells us about his nieces. On one day they waved at him passing his house, the other day he found his little nieces under the mess. …….

Mr. Akbar takes us to the cemetery as well. In silence we see the place where 34.000 people are buried after the devastating day. Before the earth quake there were 124.000 inhabitants in Bam. The best thing we see in Bam is the great spirit of the people trying to rebuilt Bam. People are convinced there will be a strong Bam in the future.

A bus which brings us to Zahedan is found quickly. Steven makes sure our bikes have a good place. After a while our bus stops……broken! Another bus takes us further and in Zahedan we cycle to a hotel. There are almost no women on the streets and the ambiance between men is a bit tense. In the evening we go by cab to an internet cafĂ© and after our mailing we are delivered in front of our hotel again.

A pick-up wants to bring us to the border in the morning, the only obstacle is the police who doesn’t let us go. They tell us it is not safe and we have to wait for a police-escort. After a chat with our driver they tell us we can trust the man and they let us go. The driver of the pick-up delivers us safely at the border. Iran Godafez!

Yazd- Bafq: 130 km
Bafq – Kuhanan: 67 km
Kuhanan – Zarand: 102 km
Zarand – Kerman: 97 km
Kerman – Bam: by bus
Bam – Zahedan: by bus
Zahedan – to the border by pick-up
Total Iran: 2235 km.

 

 

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