As early as possible we were standing on the doorstep of the Turkmenistan embassy, but the door was closed. We were not alone and apparently noone ever gets to enter. You wait at a hatch on the side of the building until they feel like opening said hatch. And wait we did, until all of a sudden an Asian man appeared, walked straight up to the hatch and knocked on it until they opened. We guessed teatime was finally over and filled our the increasingly familiar questions in the increasingly stacks of papers necessary to apply. Eventually we could turn in our paperwork, including the extra letter the Belgian embassy was so kind to draft, stamp and sign for us.
In about ten days we would know if we would be able to see a country that not many people get to see, or if we should alter our itiniary big time. Meanwhile, let's get back on the road towards the religious capital, Mashad, and hope for the best!
After cheering the Royal Antwerp Football Club to victory, finishing our visa administration and the last breakfast with the one and only Patrick Swaezy, there was no reason for us to stay in the chaos of Tehran any longer. We gave Montez and Mori of the Tehran Hostel a big hug and weaved through the traffic madness of the metropole, wearing our white masks to avoid inhaling all the stink of the many trucks and cars. Walking in the city is fine, but cycling without a mask feels like smoking a complete pack of cigarettes at once.
We caught our breaths a few kilometers outside this huge ant hill somewhere in a small town, before some hyper active kids started harassing us. We say harassing, because these kids were really annoying. We were eating our precious carbohydrates in the form of a banana which they tried to pluck from our hands in the middle of our lunch break. In the chaos we didn't even notice them playing with Yuri's knife when we rode away from these terrible creatures and thus Yuri lost his 3rd and Undoubtedly not his last knife of the trip. We are glad to take pictures with overly friendly people, but what happened here Is not comparable to our usual welcome in small cities.
We found peace and quiet a few hundred meters away from a railway, where we set up camp under the sun. We forgot about the banana break incident and spent the rest of the remaining day on the hill, sliding down and laughing for sometimes no reason at all. It is here that we discovered the Iranian circular shaped variant of the famous Belgian 'Dinosaur cookies', a discovery which would completely change our snack diet for our remaining days in Iran. High on the sugar of these biscuits we listened to our famous audio book and dreamt the night away, witout the continuous noise of cars and motorcycles for once. It's good to be on the road again.