Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Settling in to Iran

Firstly just how do we navigate in Iran without a GPS ?  Well firstly I look for the Southern Cross in the sky! Having discarded that as a workable  option it is a case of then intensely studying Mapsme on my iPhone and marking a route.  Then memorising it.  Then also looking at Google maps where the Internet is available. I also use the road map on the tank bag. I use the compass when I am riding which still works on the GPS. I also  an eye on the position of the sun.  I study the Lonely Planet book on Iran each night with the intensity of reading passages from the bible. Then last but not least we become unafraid  of asking bystanders. They always help. The combination of all of that seems to get us there. 

We do the cultural thing today by first visiting the big Mausoleum at Soltanyeh. It is the third biggest clay domed roof in the world. 


It is full of scaffolding inside but you get the picture of the size 



We then then head up to the Zoroastrians  ruins  of  Takh- e-Soleyman. The Zoroastrians worshipped ( and still do )  the elements  of earth, fire water etc. At the  ruins is a small volcanic lake which used to have gas coming out of.  Burning gas on the water  - water and fire symbolism. 




Again everyone is friendly, helpful and interested in us ( and the bike!) 


The scenery is lovely although desolate ( the girl in the picture is not desolate!) 



We take a wrong turn somewhere in mid afternoon and find ourselves heading to the Iraq border. Whoops!  We backtrack and head to the town of Bijar in the Kurdistan province of Iran. As it is getting close to dark as we get close to town I select suitable apricot orchards to camp in if we have to. Again locals show us the way to the only hotel in town. There is a room available. Yahoo!  And each night the hotels have got better. This one even  has a European style toilet!  It has been a good day on day 3 in Iran 

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