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18/03/2011 – Tabriz to Bostanabad – Dodgy mechanics

May 31, 2011

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Leaving congested Tabriz felt good. Too many people, nice as they are, and too much lazing around in cities breeds a strong desire to be back out on the road. The warm sun is on our backs as we weave and dodge our way through the chaotic traffic to the edge of the city, taking many wrong turns in our quest to find the only highway to take us South east.

A few kilometers down the busy highway Sasha’s gear cable snaps bring our frantic progress to a sharp halt. The bikes are fresh from a service so it’s a little surprising, especially as the mechanic is meant to work on the national teams bikes. Our praise of the ‘best bike shop this side of Europe’ starts to get revoked. A road cyclist on a mid-ranged aluminum Giant with all the lycra stops to see what’s happened, he offers to cycle into town to the nearest shop to pick up some new cables, to which we happily accept.

In the meantime Mathias digs out his spare and by the time the replacement is fitted the guy returns to tell us all the shops are closed because it’s Friday.

After lunch in a playground by the side of the road we pass through a semi-industrial waste-land, which despite it’s unattractive landscape is at least quiet. We rejoin the main road and narrowly avoid getting squashed by a reversing lorry before climbing up into the snow covered hills. The temperature drops and all the memories of freezing Turkey painfully return. We descend and find a great camping spot, away from the sodden ground, underneath the road in a huge concrete tunnel connecting two fields. The tractor tracks are faint but we make sure we’re camped along the edge to reduce the possibility of a rude awakening in the morning

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