We were snowed in for two days and felt trapped by the fifty centimeters of powder that prevented us from reaching Iran. The border was less than one hundred kilometers away. To kill some time, we cyberknulled our way through the day and teleported ourselves to 48 hours later. After this two day hibernation it was more than time to leave the man-cave and hit the road.
We might as well have put on langlauf ski's, as the thick pack of snow was a true pain in our muscular cycler's asses. Nevertheless, the Belgian bike-sleigh team plowed their way through and climbed from 800 to 1800 meters. This was an arduous task. Every pedal forward felt like two pedals backward. The control over our handlebars was not in our hands; we could only hold on and follow where our front wheel took us, as it chose its own way through the slushy snow. We were exhausted, even though this was a slow and steady climb over the course of only 35 kilometers. It cost double the effort, as half of our energy slipped away together with our rear wheel, that didn't have any grip on the snow.
And then, standing in this town where we arrived, the last obstacle was yet to be overcome: the infamous Meghri pass. A steep climb up to 2570 meters, accompanied by unpredictable and strong winds, black ice spots on the narrow road and heavy truck traffic in both ways. The reward: a long downhill and Iran within our grasp.
We hesitated to bite the bullet tomorrow and cycle up the snowy pass ourselves , but after giving it some heavy toughts we ordered two taxis to take us to Meghri to conquer the pass instead of taking the risk. A wise decision, as the road was not yet fully cleared of snow and ice, and temperatures at the top dropped to -14 degrees. Vision was limited and the traffic real. These circumstances eased the pain of being in a vehicle instead of on our bicycle for once.
To our moms, who think Iran is full of terrorists and we will die within seven days; we salute you. Little do they know.
Below a picture of Yuri when he was told that snow was coming.