Goodbye Iran!

Currently waiting at the Iran border for Dean to get the bike papers stamped so that we can exit Iran and enter Turkey.

Today is the end of Ramadan so it is a holiday everywhere in Iran. It would have been nice to experience Iran without Ramadan but we didn’t feel like waiting for the holidays to be over before everything opened again.

Its a shame that we’ve been here during the hottest part of the year and Ramadan as we feel as if we’ve missed out on what life may usually be like. Due to all the restaurants being closed during the daytime, we’ve had to eat in hotel restaurants (as these are allowed to be open) which is something we never usually do as it doesn’t give you the ‘local’ experience that we try to look for. The food has been hit and miss with very little variation. 

I don’t get the impression that eating out in restaurants is a big part of  the the culture here as there are very few around. Today we’ve seen lots of family’s having picnics on the side of the highway which makes me think that home cooked food is the preference!

While we were in Tehran we were kindly invited out by a guy we had met who owned a KTM. He and his friends took us to the north of Tehran to a nice restaurant. We had an interesting time learning about how Iranians feel about Iran which we had felt that we had missed out on up until now. They drove us around and showed us the view of Tehran at night (which is massive!) and then drove us back to our hotel. It was really nice hanging out with locals 😊

We rode a long day to Tabriz where we had planned to spend a couple of days but upon arrival realised that everything was closing up for a few days so decided to push on.

Thankfully it is cooler here and I am very excited to be rid of the headscarfe I’ve had to wear for the past 2 weeks!

The people here have been so so lovely and welcoming and we are forever getting waves and big smiles from all the cars that pass us, it’s really nice.

Tonight we hope for beer 😊

Arrived in Tehran


We just arrived in Tehran, with the engine scorching hot, and the temp readout at 42 it’s lucky we found a place to stay without much fuss.

Another long boring ride on the highway, about 500km today through more desert. So far it’s been desert desert desert here. 

As you can see from the pic, the heat really takes it out of you, we’ve resorted to stopping every hour or two and soaking ourselves with water, which then keeps us cool until it dries an hour later. 

We’re getting some funny looks doing it though, me dousing Sal with water in a truck stop while she smothers it into her t shirt with lots of “ooohhhss and ahhhhs”, it’s the equivalent of porn for the local guys.  I even get the odd sideways glance from a woman when I do it 😜

2 days here to see some museum’s and no doubt more damned mosques and then we’re headed for beer land (everywhere but here), I can’t wait!

Yazd, annoying cops and a breakdown.

Quick update from Yazd, another little city in the Iranian desert.


Arrived here at 3pm in 41deg heat, 450km today.

For the first time we were hassled by the police this afternoon for no apparent reason, just on the side of the road for a break and a car pulled up and asked to see all our documents and for us to empty ALL the luggage so they could search us… what an unnecessary pain in the ass!

Sal saw red instantly (yes really!) and started angrily taking things out of the panniers and basically throwing them at the policeman, who wasn’t impressed. 


It was getting quite tense when he then refused to return our passports, and then started asking me why my woman was being so crazy.

This prompted Sal to get even more in the guys face, demanding to be spoken to directly rather than through me. 

The men here don’t know how to relate to women at all, they don’t really interact with anyone but their wives who presumably are obedient, so this was a bit much for the guy, and he took me by the arm a distance away to talk some more.

Now a few days ago at the Turkmenistan border, the border officials tried several times to separate us, we suspect as a way to intimidate us for a bribe, but we didn’t fall for it and stuck together, refusing the directions of “you go there and you wait here” eventually they gave up and waved us away without even inspecting the bike… it was really weird.

Anyway, so this time, with the police taking me away, Sal was onto it, and to the exasperation of the policeman, she soon came over too demanding to know what was going on.

At that stage the cop was drilling me over us being there without a guide, (which we don’t need), but he was one of these people who needed to have the last say… and so I was envisioning a trip to the local police station for more questions.

“Babe can you please stand over there so this dick can be the big man and have the last word?”  (He didn’t understand English)

Sal wandered off seething, the cop then  gave up, seemingly pleased enough that the woman had been dismissed, and waved us away.

As we repacked and got going, the crowd of people watching all looked at us with a “we’re so sorry” expression, but we actually felt sorry for them having to live with that crap.

Times like that you really appreciate the freedom and rights we normally take for granted at home.

A couple of hours later we pulled up in a little alleyway in Yazd to check out some guest houses when Sal heard the hissing sound of the motor leaking coolant.

Shit. I looked down to see a green puddle under the bike. Shit!

Did it overheat? I asked, flicking the ignition back on. Nope, not hot.  Relief.

I looked back down the street for a trail of coolant, but it had only started then and there, which is incredibly lucky.  Ten mins earlier and we’d have been on the highway where I might not have noticed the gauge until the engine really overhead.

So Sal went to see the guesthouses while I looked for the cause of the leak…

Half hour later we checked into one, and I went to work pulling the plastic work, tank, air filters, carburetors and air box off Betsy to expose the hoses on top of the motor. 

Exactly what I felt like doing in this heat after a long days ride.

Not much was visible, so I removed the lot to find a crack in a coolant hose.  We walked down the main street of town stopping in hardware shops and motorbike repair places but no luck as all the bikes here are air cooled.

Eventually one shop owner got his lackey to take me around town on the back of his motorbike looking for a hose. It took 4 stops but we found a piece of old hose I could cut down to fit, and they dug out some clamps too, $6 thanks! He even took me back to the guest house with it all.  Very friendly helpful people here!

Fast forward 2 hours and the bike was back in one piece, so we went out for a walk and some food.

Tomorrow we’re going to check out some of the sights around the city, hopefully that old hose holds together!!


(Dean) It’s bloody hot here at the moment,  over 40 deg every day, which means that walking around cities (where everything is closed due to Ramadan!), looking at monuments or wanding in the desert is not really fun during the day.  So we’ve got a bit of a routine going on, we do something in the morning then sit around in the afternoon until 4pm, at which time we head out to see something else.

Waiting for sunset

Waiting for sunset

From Kerman the two main attractions were the Kalouts in the desest, 150km NE of the city, and an old fort, about 100km south of the city.   So we headed off to see the Kalouts at 5pm, reasoning that it would take an hour to get there, which would be enough time to see them before sunset, and then put up our tent in the desert and hope to god that it cooled off enough to sleep overnight.

The Kaluts

The Kalouts

The ride out there had me remembering Death Vally in the US, another occassion when I assured Sally it would cool down overnight… it didnt.  We didnt sleep.  It sucked.  So here we were riding through another desert in 45 deg heat, with me once again saying “dont worry babe, it’s a desert, they get really cold at night time…”

Of course Sal no longer believes a word I say regarding deserts, but it was nice of her to play along anyway.

The Kalouts are these really unique rock formations in an otherwise sandy desert, that look like tall buildings poking out of the sea of sand.  Sounds boring doesnt it?  Actually it was really cool.  We arrived half hour before sunset, rode around the dunes (motorbike playground) for a bit before deciding on a campsite, and then sat on one of the taller Kalouts and watched the sun set.  Really pretty.

Dean gettimg ready to set up camp

Dean gettimg ready to set up camp

There’s no wood to burn in sandy desert, and our camp stove is out of fuel, so we ate cold “shit-in-a-can” for dinner and lay and watched the amazing starry sky for a couple of hours before going to sleep.

By the way, shit-in-a-can is canned corn kernels, canned chickpeas, canned tuna, fresh tomatos, parsley, lime juice, chilli and olive oil all mixed together – try it, it rocks.

Another one of many

Another one of many

Sleep is a generous word to use when we’re in the tent and it’s hot, but we did close our eyes for a bit.  Lucky for me, it did cool down through the night, and we had an almost pleasant breeze blowing through the tent.   In the morning we got up to watch the sun rise, (something we may never have done before), ate left over shit-in-a-can, and headed back to Kerman.

This little 150km trip was interrupeted by the local petrol station not working because of a power outage, so what should have taken an hour and a half took 4 frustrating hours, involving a group of Iranian taxi drivers syphoning fuel out of someones car to get us to the next town, by which time the power was back so we filled up at the pump on the way out of town anyway…

Anyhow, we bundled back into the hotel in Kerman, collapsed on the beds and slept until 3pm!  Then another repeat of this to go and see a fort, which unfortunately was nothing too special.

(Sally) We’ve spent the last few days here in Shiraz. Once upon a time the centre of red wine production for the Middle East with 300 vineyards, until the Islamic Revolution in 1979 which made alcohol illegal overnight.  That made all those vineyards redundant and now they just produce dried table fruit. Imagine that!

We spent a long day riding through the desert to get here. It was hot… And boring.. There really isn’t much to see. Thankfully there are highways connecting every city here so we can make miles pretty easily.

A Persian mosque

A Persian mosque



Shiraz is a bit more happening than anywhere else we’ve been so far in Iran. There are some coffee shops that remind us of Melbourne (but they aren’t allowed to open before 8pm due to Ramadan) and some women that rebel against the black cloak get up and wear brightly coloured headscarfes instead. We’ve visited some mosques and markets which have been nice – very Persian, and this evening for our 5pm excursion, we visited Persepolis, some Ancient Persian ruins, 2500 years old, which were very impressive.

One of the stone carvings at Peresopolis

One of the stone carvings at Persepolis

A winged bull with the head of a bearded man

A winged bull with the head of a bearded man

The people here are mostly very friendly, generous and welcoming… Sometimes we get strange looks but that’s probably due to my efforts of wearing a headscarf as unconventionally as possible 😁. The food is getting more interesting with very different flavours to what we are used to which is great!

Tomorrow we are heading to a town called Yadz which is in the middle of the desert and is 44 degrees…

Long hot day

Another long day on the seat, 560km through the desert to reach Kerman today, not helped by the 40deg temp and a bout of gastro… After lunch we literally poured litres of water over each other to stay cool in the hot wind.

After 5 days riding we’re staying here a couple of days to catch up, rest and see the sights.

Sally booking our flights home for October

Sally booking our flights home for October

So far Iran has been quite interesting, from the first city where every single woman was wearing a black sheet over her head and looking like spook the ghost, “it feels like Halloween”, to the lovely people inviting us into their homes to stay the night (unfortunately we already had a hotel), and the three guys who helped us sort out our sim card problem by buying us a new one and charging it up at their own expense – Hello Mojtaba, thanks again for all your help!!

With Mojtaba outside his Iran Cellphone shop

With Mojtaba outside his Iran Cellphone shop


if you find yourself in Ferdows, go visit Mojtaba for a cellphone or simcard :)

if you find yourself in Ferdows, go visit Mojtaba for a cellphone or simcard 🙂

It’s Ramadan now, so the streets are totally deserted during the day, hopefully tonight things liven up a bit!!

Our Marriage Certificate for Iran’s conservative hotels :)

We have it on good authority that in Iran the hotels will give us seperate rooms unless we can provide a marriage certificate.  So here it is, courtesy of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Sally wore red because her favourite spaghetti sauce is puttanesca, and I wore nothing but my riding boots and used lasagna sheets to hide my privates.

pastor Pasta Farian...from the Church of the flying spaghetti monster!

pastor Pasta Farian…from the Church of the flying spaghetti monster!