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.
“CLOTHES… GLOVES… SHOES… TENT… MATTRESSES…”
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!!