Second Impressions of Iran

I’m not a fan of meaningless small talk, answering every-day questions (mom, you should know this) or people touching my property without my permission. If I add to this list a bad traffic manners and exhaust fumes, not much defense can be done to make any place a good experience to cycle. This was the case with Iran. Yes, people were super friendly here, but too much is too much. When everybody asks the same questions: “How are you” & “Where are you from” it gets frustrating. Plus the youth can also get wild here (especially when consuming forbidden alcohol), which can also end up with breaking / stealing parts of your bicycle. My bike got it’s first assault while I camped close to Persepolis. Twisted bottle cage, broken ring bell and stolen band was the result of that night. Broken spoke was a result of another night, when a door man at one hotel decided to transfer my bicycle without my awareness. These mishaps were possible to fix, with helpful, English speaking Iranians, but I rather face no such problems at all.

I counted 193 honks at me during one day, and most of them were done by trucks from a very close range. On top of this cars and motorbikes slowed down to “chat” with you, stare at you, photograph you, or offer you tea/water/lemonade/fruits/cakes. If you are cycling uphill, concentrating on your rhythm, even the latter option gets on your nerves.

Well, I managed to cross Iran in 25 days. Here in Bandar Abbas the weather is bloody hot and humid (last night I camped on a wet sleeping pad, and it was not raining) and I think it will remain so until northern India. However, I feel really confident about upcoming challenges, my knee is feeling better, budget has been under control and even the climate is so far manageable.

Pictures (finally flickr, facebook and twitter), more posts and stories abou my third etappe very soon from Dubai.



  1. Posted October 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    hi lukas,
    while your first impressions really encouraged me to keep iran on the tour map this one now has the opposite effect, i.e. discouraging me. but actually there’s no real alternative even if a transfer by ship from baku to turkmenbashy would work – 2,500 km through turkmenistan to uzbekistan to be covered in 10 days only, that’s too big a risk even when considering the use of train, bus or truck (lift). hence, i will have to go through the same experience…
    thanks for the mental preparation – and keep on riding safely!
    take good care of yourself,

    • Posted October 25, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

      Well, Iran is surely not the best country for cycling I’ve been, and two cycling couples (from England and Netherlands) I’ve met agreed with that statement. BUT, if you are staying here only for two weeks, maybe just go around the Caspian Sea, you could have a pleasant experience.
      I will give more ratings from Etappe 3 within one week.

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