Sprache wechseln

And again late departure because the staff in the hotel does not accept dollars. At least they return the dollars,
I left them yesterday as deposit. 140 out of 100 - a good deal. But it takes forever to find a place where I can change
them into Iran money.
Then a city tour through Tehran. Not really sightseeing, but leaving the city. 2 hours through the complete madness, or however the traffic
there is called.
And then into the desert. Heat and dust as far as you can see. To protect our engine we reduce our travel speed to 60 km/h.
Passing Semnan we reach again a hilly area and get rewarded by a good late lunch on the top of the first raise.
Aproaching Sharood it starts to rain. Yes, no typo, rain in Iran in August. At dawn we reach a little town called Mayamey.
It is one without hotel, so we prepare for the night at a rest area. At least the rain has stopped in the meantime.

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First Iranian breakfast: More cucumbers, more tomatoes. No change since more than a week. After packing and getting money
(finally found a bank which changes foreign money) we manage again to start late. Leaving the mountains finally behind us
we reach Tehran. Nothing special on the trip apart from the fact that soup with ants is not everybodies taste.
Heading directly into the city center we are at the end enerved enough from the traffic to spend more money than planed for the first hotel
we can find. As compensation we spend a lot of money for dinner. At least something different from the kebab and chicken we get everywhere

 

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Only a short trip of 40km ahead of us before entering Armenia. Yesterday it was dark, so we did not see them.
But the daylight showed us the reality: Georgia is a big open air museum of potholes.
In other countries (India excluded) you occassionally find a pothole, in Georgia you occassionaly find
a bit of street between the potholes - but only very lucky people ever have actually found one.
Entering Armenia was the typical stuff: A bit of paperwork, a lot of time spent for staff taking pictured of the car,
showing engine, etc. Roads are better then in Georgia, but a while later it started: Mountains.
Mountains, wherever you look, mountains, whereever you drive. Not small ones, big ones, high ones, very high ones.
And all roads lead over the top of each and every mountain in the area. And these are not toy mountains.
This is rough environment with real conditions like weather.
This causes us to turn back when trying to pass the highest one.
An upcoming thunderstorm makes the decision easy to turn back and reach altitudes below 2000 meters.
Even there the wind is strong enough to make you seasick sleeping in the car.
Final thought of the day: Driving an exotic car is quite funny, because you appear like a pink elephant, but sometimes it
becomes nasty to be stopped by every police contol, only because the guys want to see the car, ask how old it is and take
some pictures.

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Next try to pass the next mountain. 2535 meters, but our car takes everything.
Armenia turns out to be a country with more mountains than any other one.
Up and down to the Iran border. Lot´s of fun and other Ralliers there.
Whoever wants to exit Armenia to Iran, remember this order of desks you need to visit: 3-2-5-bank-2-custombroker.
Entrance into Iran without problems. ah, the typical photo sessions, of course.
Iran turns out to be a country with more mountains than any other one.
Following a good advice from a local led us to Tabriz. It was effectively shorter (150km instead of 100km),
faster (5 hours mountain roads instead of 2 hours highway) but finally we arrived.
In the meantime we were escorted by the police to the next petrol station and a restaurant. In the mountains and here in Tabriz we experienced the friendliness of the people, which is reported by all Iran travellers.
For example a late dinner. Asking after midnight for food at the only location with lights on was initially
not successful, but then the guys called as back, when we were already leaving into the direction they showed us,
and the restarted their oven to cook for us. 5 people doing overtime late night just for two hungry foreigners.
Today I almost destroyed our car by entering a open drain in the middle of the street. Thanks god it is robust
enough to survive and we could continue after some locals help us lifting it out, back to the street.

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Time to leave Turkey. But not before climbing up some passes withe more than 2000 meters.
Up to 2350 we took 5 of them today. Finally reached the Georgian border.
The formalities were not a big hazzle, but we lost a lot of time.
Six stops at the border (4 X Turkey, 2 x Georgia), each of them with a minute of paperwork,
each of them with at least five people wanting to take pictures with around an in our car.
When we left the border it was already getting dark. Heading for the next town
(directions from one of the Georgian guys at the borders: Follow the road for 35 kilometers,
there you might find a hotel - or you can camp anywhere,
Georgia is safe - then turn left at the 2nd traffic light and you will reach Armenia).
Following a street in this city, which would not even earn the name "street" at home,
we found a surprisingly goot place to sleep.
The owner even led us to a restaurant which made a more than good impression.
Unfortunaltely they did not give us any food because we were too late.
At least we got a beer to go and had this for dinner in the hotel room.

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