Day 57: Stuck in Erzurum
June 26, 2012; Distance covered today: 0 Km; Total: 4411 Km
For the first time after a long time on this trip, I woke up rather late, at 7:30. I then talked to Hamid, my buddy in Tehran, to see if there was a chance to get a visa for Fausto. To make the long story short, there is none. The rule: “No foreigner could enter Iran with a personal vehicle, and if they do, they should be accompanied by an agent from the government all the time. Besides, they can only visit big cities”. How stupid!
|Make no mistake! They are not gay. Friends, boys and girls, father and son, etc. walk like this.|
|I found this gym in the basement of a sports store. I had a chance to flex my fingers.|
|Patching Fausto's Pants|
There was only one more avenue to venture: applying through www.Iranianvisa.com (Caution! The Website turned out to be phony. You will be reading about how the agency ripped off Fausto and didn’t reply his emails after getting his money). Fausto filled out a form online. He then decided to go to Georgia and Azerbaijan instead of to Iran. So, he could ride with me tomorrow, and then we should depart. He would go toward Georgia, and I toward Iran.
Then we went out to do some shopping. Fausto needed tent pins. His were so soft that they would bend so easily. We checked a couple of shops, but there was no way we could find them in Erzurum. As we were hopelessly walking from one shop to another, I saw a bicycle shop. I went in to see if they had a kickstand. They didn’t. As I was going out, I asked the guy where I could get tent pins. He looked at the pins and showed us some metal bars which actually were parts of old bike mudguards. He was trying to convince us that they would be strong and serve the purpose. We thought that he was trying to rip us off. We wanted to leave, but he said that he would not charge us for making them. We asked why, and he said that he wanted to help us out. We decided to give it a try. He cut the metals, hammered the points to make them a little sharp, and bent the tops. Fausto was amazed and wanted to pay the guy, but he wouldn’t accept money. Then he agreed to take a picture with us. What a nice gesture!
|Helping Fausto out for free!|
After eating dinner we went to the hotel and relaxed until we went to bed.