We made it to Tehran! We had a beautiful ride through some big hills. I found a place to carry an extra bottle on my bike. We camped next to a river and had another talent show. We took a bus for the last 50km into the city, to avoid riding in the crazy traffic. I went to the Tehran bazaar today, which is huge and packed with people.
We have been in Iran for three days, and it’s great. If you have ever heard anything about Iran, it probably included the fact that the people here are very friendly. Really friendly. Half the time when you try to take a taxi, a car will stop and drive you there for free. A TV crew came to our campsite last night and interviewed some of the riders.
It has also been great to have a change of scenery from the desert of Turkmenistan. The two countries share a natural border of some large hills / small mountains, which have been great to ride through.
Here are a few photos from Turkmenistan. It is a very strange country – essentially a dictatorship under the president. The government spends there massive oil and gas revenues on the tons of white marble buildings in Ashgabhat.
Most buildings are covered with hundreds of satellite dishes.
One night, we said at a horse racing track. Like most big buildings in Turkmenistan, it had a giant picture of the president on it.
For the last week we have been riding across the desert of Turkmenistan. This country is 86% desert! It has been really hot, and not all that interesting. I have a few photos, but this internet cafe won’t let me plug anything into the computer to upload them, so you’ll have to wait!
When I find a place that will let me share the photos, I’ll tell you more about this country.
We are heading into Iran tomorrow!
We have been in Uzbekistan for about two weeks. We had two rest days in Samarkand, a beautiful ancient city. I spent most of my time there sleeping and eating, but I did see the Registan, a square surrounded by three Madrasahs.
We are now in Bukhara, another ancient city. It is so hot here that I haven’t gone to see any of the historical buildings, but the entire area that we are in is pretty beautiful.
In two days we’ll be crossing into Turkmenistan for just over a week before we go to Iran.
A couple of weeks ago, somewhere between Kulyab and Dushanbe, Tajikistan, we had a talent show.
It included track-side coverage of a horse race featuring the riders as horses. The Australians in our group sang a song about Vegemite, and we even got to try some! It wasn’t as gross as I was expecting.