I’ve used this phrase twice before to describe sections of this trip but I am confident that I am once again using it honestly. The last 8 days, which included racing across the Karakum desert in Turkmenistan to stay within the confines of my 5 day transit visa, have been the toughest of my life. To counter this though I have smashed through the 5,000 mile marker in style!
I’ve left a bit of a longer gap between blogs this time around, 556 miles to be precise, but thought I’d wait to hit the major milestone of the halfway mark in Mashad, Iran! This section has featured food poisoning, the threat of leopards, desert riding and the pleasure of three broken spokes in a single day, but after all of that, I am about to knock on the door of one of the least visited regions of earth, Central Asia.
Thanks to having sorted all my visas I could now head north to the Caspian sea coast and completely avoid some of the worst traffic on Earth around Tehran. There was just the small matter of crossing the Alborz mountain range first but I was rewarded by a stroke of incredible luck and ran into one of my adventure heroes on the road!
Another great week, buckets of Iranian hospitality, meeting stacks of cyclist plus a huge weight of stress lifted off of my shoulders regarding my various visas. I can now continue to roll across Iran at a far more leisurely pace.
If you’ve found this post looking for info. on extending an Iran visa in Tehran, as well as getting Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan visas scroll down to the red text.
It’s been one hell of a week! Injury, more bike problems, the biggest mountain pass so far, borderline sexual assault, a new country, brutal weather, TV interviews and the prophecy of Iranian hospitality showing itself in full force!