The Road through Iran

Our guide took us to a tourist motel in Maku, a town near the border, where we parked up the bikes and went exploring. We were getting stared at a lot, it seems they almost never get foreign tourists here. I was amazed by how lax the dress codes have become, many of the women are wearing mid-thigh length chadors, though I hasten to add that they are also wearing trousers underneath. I’m feeling positively frumpy in my black full-length chador and head scarf. Alan keeps quoting lines from Monty Python’s Life of Brian at me, and says I look more like Mother Theresa than Benazir Bhutto. Never mind, I’ve been able to get my own back as no self-respecting woman will travel unescorted, I‘m wearing a fake wedding ring and if I’m asked who I’m travelling with I say my husband, but if I’m feeling somewhat less charitable, I indicate Alan and say he’s “Papa”.

The group are learning quickly not to use their left hand for eating or putting things in their mouths, not to look at women and especially for the guys not to talk to or touch a woman they don’t know.

Things got off to a shaky start for the Yanks, on the first morning they headed down to the bank to change some money. The bank manager dealt with them personally, upon seeing their passports, he said "Oh you're Americans, aren't you scared to be here?"

They assured him they actually felt very welcome, but came out with worried faces.

we've been riding through mountains, poppy fields, some small river crossings and dodging the chaotic traffic in each town. I'd forgotten how much of a free for all Iranian driving is. And it's even worse now than last time as there are more cars on the road.

I recounted a tale to the group about my previous visit when emerging from a one way street onto a roundabout, I had gone the wrong way around the roundabout, however no-one blinked an eye and merely swerved around me as if it was an everyday occurence.

My jealousy grows....

It is such a beautiful country if you visit the right areas, much like every other country I imagine. Sounds like you are having a good time though and I get increasingly jealous every time I read a new post by you. Stuck in England running my fancy dress shop with little opportunity to get away.

That's Something Different

...Running a fancy dress shop - I've just looked it up. How did you come across me? Enjoy reading.

best wishes




Following your blog when I get a moment. We have reached Osh and are enjoying the comfort after the Pamir highway.


Pamir Snow

Hi Nina

that's fantastic that you've made it through to Osh - I felt like I'dr eached the land of plenty when I got there - the markets were full of fruit and veg, stuff I hadn't seen for two weeks. Are you going to Song Kul? I would definitely recommend it unless you are too early and the snow's too deep to get there.

By the way, how was the snow on the mountain passes? and did you take the north or south route out of Dushanbe? Were you allowed to choose?

are pictures of your trip available anywhere on line?

Good luck