The sleep last night was pretty average for us all, due to no breeze and the heat built up in the brick buildings just makes life horrible and sleeping outside was not an option due to the overflow of prisoners that were brought in late last night.
We bid farewell to our hosts and the Germans tourists were loaded into the back of a canvas covered Hilux ute along with a couple of guards and we were instructed to stick close behind and follow. This was to become the standard way of traveling for us during our stay in Pakistan.
As the morning progressed we stopped at various military check points and the guards were changed as we passed through different precincts on our way to Dalbandin. During our ride this morning were came across our first sighting of wild camel’s, so we knew we were getting into serious desert country and the heat and boredom certainly confirmed this.
We arrived at a secure hotel in Dalbandin hot and tired, along with the German’s. We had two guards assigned to stay with us for the night and it is customary that we pay for their meals while we are being guarded.
That evening we were not going to be caught out by the heat of the room again and followed the guards lead and took the option of sleeping on the open roof of the hotel despite having paid for the best room in the hotel.
Today we were looking forward to our ride to Karaj (near Tehran) to meet up with my work mates (Milad) parents. I had already met Fariba (Milad’s mum) some months early during her visit to Sydney so it was going to be great to meet again but this time in Faribas home town.
The ride turned out to be the most pleasurable ride we had in Iran, making our way up and over a heavily vegitated mountain pass over 2200m high. The ride was broken up by a couple of extensive roads works which we simply lane split and made our way to the front which allowed a clean get away when the traffic was waived on.
We arrived at Karaj which is a very large city of several million people and stopped for fuel. A local family asked us if we were ok and upon explaining where we wished to go, offered to escort us (about 10km’s) to where we were to meet Milad’s family. We took up their offer which made the final ride in much easier than navigating ourselves.
While waiting for our friends to arrive the local police offered us to stay in their air conditioned office which was very welcome when you are wearing full riding gear in 36deg temps.
Fariba and her husband, Kamran soon arrived and and it was clear they were very pleased to see us. We then had the task of following Karmran through the streets of inner Karaj which proved interested based on the Iranian people drive.
We arrived at Faribas wonderful inner city apartment and were immediately overwhelmed with the hospitality shown by Fariba, Kamran and Fariba’s good friend, Babnan.
It was great to relax and have the comfort of having local people offer to show you the sites of Tehran and provide accomodation for the next couple of days.
Distance travelled for week- 1,876km
Average speed to date- 61.8km/h
Average fuel consumption to date- 4.9 litres per 100km
Today has been a rest day staying in Elazig. Steve’s tyre is not due in till Tuesday now so we shall be staying here till we get the tyre sorted. By last night I (David) started to have a distinct uncomfortable right ankle as a result of the crash yesterday. When I woke up the ankle was clearly swollen (not too bad) and very stiff. As a result we made the call to not do much and just recharge our batteries. So today consisted of washing our clothes (the hotel room is like a Chinese laundry at present), getting food supplies from the local shop catching with our Turkish friends for Cai (tea) and a chat and generally mooching about. Oh, we also had time to watch England play France in the David Cup tennis! I took the opportunity to also keep my ankle elevated whenever possible as I do not want this injury hanging around. Tomorrow we are off to the motor bike shop of our friends where we plan to wash the bikes and run a spanner over them.
Kilometres for the week – 1,899km
Average speed to date – 74.1km/h
Average fuel consumption to date – 5.1 litres per 100km
Punctures – 1 to Steve’s rear tyre
Crashes – 1 to David
Post Script; Shortly following posting the day’s events while sitting in the hotel lobby, a brawl started just outside the hotel. Large crowds, Police and several Turks were engaged in “conversation” with the Police doing what appeared a very good job of control the environment without undue force.
The end score was the Police “nicked” three men and when we asked what had caused the disturbance would you believe alcohol was the answer! Things are the same the world over!
Today marks the 4th week on the road for Steve and I and so far we are keeping on track with our expected plans. It is safe to say that the first month has also been the “easy” section, travelling through mainland Europe where most things are not too different from home.
It it is fitting that we spend this time in Turkey, the country where the East meets the West.
The journey today took us from Gallipoli town down to ANZAC Cove to take in the history of the ANZAC’s. Upon visiting the Turkish Museum and taking the time to view the hour long educational movie reliving the famous war, but this time from Turkish eye’s certainly has been interesting. Either way you look at it, it is a demonstration of how futile war really is!
We moved on from Gallipoli and headed for the ferry at Eceabat to Canakkale, which basically was a 25 minute drive on ferry ride that took us across the mouth of the Dardanelles in order to head South to Izmir.
We have stopped at a camp site at Troy for the night. I have even managed to wash my bike (part of the 1 month celebrations) and you will notice from the picture below that we no longer are carrying the black bags behind the rider. This is thanks to our wives taking the additional items back with them to Sydney and has made life soo much easier for us chaps due to the reduced weight and significant increase in space.
Sunday marked the 2 week mark for our Mad Ride! Steve is still in Venice with Jo, his wife and I and enjoying time in Nasice, Croatia. Today was another family day, lunch with relatives which involved lovely home cooked Stuffed Praprika and mashed Patato. I struggled after lunch as the food, relaxed lifestyle created the perfect environment for an afternoon nap! In the evening I caught up with a neighbours and went out for a casual drink, ending up at their place for a bite to eat. As you can see from the picture meet features heavily on the menu. It is lovely I must say. This is home made cured and really is yummy! Got home late (around) 10:30pm which was not bad as I had only intended a quick drink with friends at 5:00pm.
Today was a rest day, giving us the opportunity to do our washing and tend to a few house keeping items.
Steve and I wondered the streets of Menton looking for the laundrette (not so romantic that bit) and took the opportunity to stop for a coffee and a bite to eat.
Our first statistics for our Mad Ride; over the first week of riding we have covered 1,863km. The bikes are averaging around 5.5L/100km which means we can get around 550km between stops which is not bad for something as un aerodynamic as our bikes, weighing in at around 290kg without the rider.
Tomorrow it is off to to a lap of the Monaco GP circuit and then head up towards Turin, Italy.