OK, im not in Turkmenistan yet, but I should be soon.
I’ve spent 10 great days in Holland and it wasn’t easy leaving again. First of all since I arrived on the airport with a whole lot of luggage and half the family (well, grandparents and Esther) when I discovered there weren’t any flights to Tehran that day….
After close inspection of my ticket i discovered I flew Friday. Not thursday as I had thought since the woman at the travel agency in Tehran told me I’d fly back on thursday…..
So, back to Apeldoorn with the lot and try again the next day. This time my mum came along, thursday it was my dad. So they both had a change to say goodbye at the airport….
And this time I was really leaving. It was different from all the other times I’ve left the Netherlands before… Normally I’m happy but this time a little sad, looking at my country disappear.
I was greeted at the airport by Mr Henk from the Dutch embassy, he came to check if I would come into Iran ok. I had to get a tourist visum at the airport which can be a hassle. But everything went smoothly and we went back to his house where I’ve been staying since I got back. Except the night when I went back to my friends who helped me so much last time to thank them and give them some presents from Holland.
Especially the ‘drop’ was a success… they tried it and said politely they liked it… but their face said different 🙂 After not too long they admitted they couldn’t stand the stuff and think we (the dutch) are all mad. I’ve given them a book about the Netherlands as well and looking through we came across a chapter about Anne Frank…. They’ve never heard of her! I didn’t think that possible but the Iranian government doesnt recognise the holocaust. They’ve got written in their passport that they’re not allowed to go to ‘occupied Palestine’.
Now. I must get to the Turkmen border quickly since my visa there starts the 15th. My plan was to catch an overnight train to Mashhad and cycle from there… easy. But nothing is ever easy in Iran. So I have discovered that ALL trains are fully booked and ALL flights as well. Might have something to do with the petrol sanctions. So I rang the bus station and they told me there is still a seat available but I can’t bring luggage bigger then 80cm… So that wasn’t an option.
But someone from the embassy rang again and he managed to get me the seat anyway, just pay a bit extra for my bike. So I’ll be on the bus this evening (15 hours!) Men I HATE busses… why you think I cycle.
I’ve spent the day yesterday scrubbing and repairing my bicycle and trying to put some new front pannier racks on it. Theyre not the same as my old ones but at the bike shop they said it was easy… at the bike shop they said you couldn’t go wrong… Henk and me struggled with it for about two hours and finally managed but we’ve got some leftover parts and had to use some other screws then came with the racks…
So. I’m happy to get going again but feel a little nervous too.
I did bring a whole lot of coffee so can’t go wrong there. Lets go!