Monday, 20 August 2012

From Barcelona to Tehran: Day 65

Day 65: Carrying Food, but no Cooking; From Gharakhan Beiglu to Arbab Kandi in Iran 

July 4, 2012; Distance covered today: 93 Km; Total: 5268 Km

I woke up at about 7, had breakfast, and said goodbye to Hosein the owner of the restaurant. I had to climb 30 Km before I got a break. Then I was biking mostly in a rather dry region. It was such a change from the areas I was riding for a couple of days. There were only wheat fields, and in this time of year, they have turned gold, which looks rather dry. It was really hot, so riding was not very much fun. 
The road I was riding on most of the day

Nothing special happened during my ride today. It was about six thirty when I started seriously looking for a place to make my camp. I checked a side road where a woman was washing some clothes . There were two boys standing and watching her too. I figured they were her boys. I asked her if the water was drinkable. She said yes. I was going to take some water and leave, but I couldn’t find a post or a tree to lean my bike against it, so I asked the boys to come to me; I was thinking of asking them to bring me water. But when I asked them to come to me, one of them shouted, “Na?” meaning, “What?”. I asked them to come to me again, and he shouted angrily, “Na?” again. They did come to me, but I changed my mind and just gave them some candy. One of them got the candy, but the angry one refused to get it and said, “give it to him (meaning his brother) so I did.

For some time, I was wondering why he was so angry. I put myself in their shoes for a sec. Their mother was washing clothes with her bare hands; apparently, they were so poor that they didn’t even have access to water in wherever they lived. The boys were too young to work and give their mothers a hand, but old enough to understand what was poverty. And now this flashy looking tourist (me), in his shorts, has come here and orders us to go over to him. I don’t blame him at all.

I left the spring and the spot I had found earlier. I decided to look for some other place somewhere else. I rode for another 5 km until I arrived in Arbab Kandy, a small village by the road. I stopped to buy water and then leave the village to find a place. I asked the owner of the shop I bought water from where I could pitch up my tent and stay for the night, he told me there was nothing after this village, only dry land. He said that I could camp in front of his shop. It was a terrible place to camp, but I had no choice—I was too tired to go on and it was already 7. 

I stayed there, talked to the people who were there having tea and smoking hookah. It was fun. Then I set up my camp, washed myself, and wanted to cook pasta. As I turned on my stove, the owner of the shop came to me and asked what I had for dinner. I told him that I was going to have pasta like many other nights. He asked me to turn off my stove. He was going to bring dinner for me—the same kind of food, Macaroni, but homemade. I wanted to pass the offer, but he was really firm, and asked me to turn off the stove immediately. 

The Owner of the Cafe
Dinner, not exactly pasta but close

The cafe's owner and his son
They also had a baker
I had a tea and after a few minutes, the owner came to me with the food. It was much more delicious than my pasta I was going to make. After dinner I prepared to sleep.

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