Tabriz to Border...Last days in Iran

Tabriz to Border...Last days in Iran

Tabriz to border

I left Tabriz at 12 after I had a very busy morning still packing and doing my last work on the internet. Just before I left Tabriz a friend of mine who I actually didn’t have chance to meet him before called me. He was living in a city almost 65 km from Tabriz and he invited me to stay with him in Marand. I gave Azim a five…there was no use for any word to explain how I am happy specially when everything was going to come together…it means I am on my right way. We laughed and my eyes were full of joy and they were shining and my heart was beating as heart of child beats when he find his mother while he had lost her on the street…I had joy, peace and love in my heart and just ready to jump on my bicycle and hit the road.

I cycled 30km and reached to the city called Soufian. I had a friend over there waiting for me to have lunch together. Abbas Ranjbaran who also is a very professional mountain climber came to the road and we went to his house to have lunch together with his family.

I left there at 5pm and continued to Marand where I could meet Reza for the first time. We were friend via internet and my website, but we had no chance before to meet in person and it was nice to meet him for the first time.

I stayed at night in his house and left Marand in the following morning around 10 am. From Tabriz to the border I had almost 210km and I decided to make it in 3 days. 3 very light days to get used to ride a bike and my back had to get ready to sit on the saddle for a long time. It was almost 10 months after I ride a bike for the last time and now after 10 months I started my journey like this. I knew I will have lots of uphill in Armenia from border to Yerevan and 3 light days could help me a lot to get ready for all those very steep roads.

I arrived to Jolfa around 3 pm and after having my last Cholo Kabab ( an Iranian dish) I camped in a park. wow it seems I am really on the road again, it was my first camp which was so good. The tent I am taking with me is not good enough and is very small but anyway no choice, so I have to get use to sleep in this tent.

Next day I woke up early as I do it always while I camp and after having breakfast I began to cycle next to the Aras River (this river is the border between Iran and Armenia and also Iran and Nakhjavan). A very beautiful road and a very cool weather was enough to enjoy that ride along the Aras. I received a news which the border to Armenia is closed for a few days…it was a bit disappointing but no matter, I could enjoy camping by the river and wait for few days.

I arrived to the border around 6pm but it was open and working, so finally I left Iran after 2 years and 20 days. So it means it was not a dream. I was not dreaming, I was again out of the country on my bicycle riding..rain began very hard but I was inside the custom to get my visa for Armenia.

For the first time I met Russian style of administration which was exactly as I had seen in movies. no one speak English and Russian accent reminded me of old movies. it took me almost 2 hours before I could get my visa as the border was so busy and many Iranian in the queue.

I entered Armenia …it was absolutely dark and very mysterious. Raining and dark and no map nor any information about where I was. I asked some guys after the border if they know any place for me to stay, their answer was clear as I imagined. Always people after the border making everything a few times higher than they really are. So I refused taking their help and began to ride at that darkness.

I saw few lights and I remember of a village I saw from the other side of river before I enter the country. first I took a road but it would take me to nowhere, so I returned and began to ride through another one and after just 1-2 km I saw a sign for Agarak. I turned and I saw a sign for hotel. I followed that sign but just next to the hotel I saw another sign writing in Russian and an arrow underneath. I understood that sign could be for room to rent. So I knocked the door. An old lady came and by body language I told her what I need.

He showed me a room. It was that big which it could keep just a bed and only almost 1 sq m extra which was enough for my bags and I couldn’t even walk through the room. there was another room and 2 couples were living there including one boy. The room was just enough big for 4 beds and it was more like a dormitory. They invited me to sit with them and I brough my laptop to show them some pictures of my journey.

I was hungry and nothing I had to eat, so I asked the old lady if they have something I could eat or not. After a short while he brought me some cheese, bread and some feed. I was so happy and to appreciate her kindness I asked her to let me take a picture of her food and herself.

I turned to take my camera and the dish fell and all the food were on the ground…shit it was such a shame and I didn’t know what I have to do in such a situation.

Quickly I clear the ground and I gathered the food from the ground. I was confused what to do? Either I could ask her to change it or I had to eat? The ground was so dirty and I really was in a very hard situation. She was looking at me angrily and the only way I could find to satisfy her was to eat at least one piece …ohh my God it was not easy at all and she still was there waiting..I had the second piece of that food and still she was there. I ate them all.! She asked me if I want more which my answer was of course not! I was still hungry but I was ashamed after that.

Anyway I slept that night and I woke 7am.

I left my bicycle in the hall last night and I was the last one who slept but it was not there in the morning. I had a bit of fear but I just tried to push that away and again I slept. The old man had put it in the store room for safety…thanks him for his kindness and paying that much attention.

They invited me to join them for breakfast and then I packed and start cycling into the freedom.

24 March 2011

تبریز تا مرز ارمنستان

تبریز تا مرز

تبریز را ساعت 12 ظهر بعد از یک صبح پر مشغله با بستن کوله بار و انجام کارهای باقیمانده در اینترنت، ترک کردم. درست قبل از ترک شهر، دوستی که شاس دیدن او راقبل از ترک کشور نداشتم با من تماس گرفت. او در شهری در 65کیلومتری تبریز یعنی مرند زندگی می کند و از من دعوت کرد که به آنجا بروم. با هیچ لغت و کلمه ای نمی توانم احساس خود را بیان کنم و اینکه چقدر شاد هست وقتی می بینم همه چیز خود به خود پیش می رود.. مفهومش برای من این است که در مسیر در ست قرار دارم. می خندیدم و برق شادی در چشمانم برق میزد و قلبم مانند کودکی که مادر خود را یافته است می تپید. شادمانی،آرامش و عشق درمن موج میزد و آماده بودم که روی دوچرخه ام بپرم و به جاده بزنم. 30کیلومتر رانندگی کردم و به شهر صوفیان رسیدم. دوستی در آنجا منتظر من بود که ناهار را با هم باشیم. به خانه عباس رنجبران که کوهنوردی حرفه ای نیز هست رفتیم تا ناهار را با او و خانواده اش باشیم. ساعت 5 دوباره راه افتادم تا به مرند برسم و رضا را که تا به حال ندیده ام ملاقات کنم. ما دوستان اینترنتی بودیم و تا به حال شانس این را نداشتیم که همدیگر راملاقات کنیم. ملاقات بسیار خوبی بود و من صبح روز بعد  حدود ساعت 10 آنجا را ترک کردم.

از تبریز تا مرز تقریبا 210 کیلومتر بود و من میخ واستم آنرا در 3 روز طی کنم. سه روز سبک برای عادت کردن دوباره به دوچرخه سواری طولانی مدت.10ماه از آخرین باری که با دوچرخه سفر کده بودم گذشته بود و من می دانستم که در ارمنستان تپه های زیادی در مسیر من هستند و این سه روز می توانست من را برای آن آماده کند.

حدود سه بعد از ظهر به جلفا رسیدم و بعد از خوردن آخرین چلو کباب درپارکی کمپ زدم که بسیار لذت بخش بود. چادری که همراه دارم زیاد مناسب نیست و خیلی کوچک است اما چاره دیگری ندارم و باید به آن عادت کنم.

صبح روز بعد خیلی زود از خواب بیدار شدم، صبحانه خوردم و تا رود ارس رکاب زدم. جاده زیبا و هوای عالی لذت این دوچرخه سواری را چند برابر می کرد.

آنجا بود که فهمیدم مرز ارمنستان برای مدتی بسته است و این اگرچه ناامید کننده بود اما می توانستم کنار رود کمپ بزنم و لذت ببرم. در هر حال ساعت 6 به مرز رسیدم و متوجه شدم که مرز باز است و من موفق شدم بعد از 2 سال و20 روز ایران را ترک کنم و این مفهومش آن بود که من خواب نمی دیدم ودوباره در جاده بودم.

برای اولین بار من با سیستم اداری روسی آشنا شدم و دقیقا به همان شکلی بود که در فیلم ها دیده بودم. هیچ کس انگلیسی صحبت نمیکرد و این مرا به یاد داستانهای قدیمی می انداخت. آنجا بسیار شلوغ بود و ایرانیان زیادی درصف بودند و بعد از دوساعت من موفق به گرفتن ویزا شدم.

هوا املا تاریک و رمز آلود بود و من وارد ارمنستان شدم. باران و تاریکی ونداشتن نقشه و اطلاعات را هم به آن اضافه کنید. بعد از مرز از چند نفرآدرس محلی را برای اقامت پرسیدم و همانطور که توقع داشتم آنها قیمت های بسیار بالایی را درخواست می کردند. پس من شروع به راندن در تاریکی کردم وپیش رفتم. کمی که پیش رفتم چنند چراغ دیدم بنابراین جاده را برگتم و درمسیری رفتم که من را به نورها می رساند. تابلویی در راه آگاراک را نشان میداد و بعد از آن تابلوی یک هتل را دیدم که در کنارش تابلوی دیگری به زبان روسی بود که من حدس زدم اتاقی برای اجاره است.

حدسم درست بود، اتاق بسیار کوچکی بود که در آن فقط یه تختخواب و مقداری فضا برای کوله ام بود. دو زوج و یک پسر بچه هم در اتاق بزرگ دیگری درهمان ساختمان اقامت داشتند که از من دعوت کردند با آنها باشم و من هم کلی از عکس های سفرم را به آنها نشان دادم.

خیلی گرسنه بودم، از صاحبخانه پرسیدم آیا چیزی برای خوردن آنجا هست و اوکمی نان و پنیر برایم آورد و من که از محبت او خیلی خوشحال شده بودم ازوخواستم به من اجازه دهد تا عکسی از غذا و خودش داشته باشم. اما وقتی خواستم دوربینم را از کیف در بیاورم ظرف غذا ناگهان به زمین افتاد و همه آن روی زمین پخش شد. واقعا نمی داستم که چه کار کنم. آیا باید غذا رامیخوردم؟ زمین خیلی کثیف بود و خانم صاحبخانه با عصبانیت من را نگاه می کرد! یک تکه از غذا را خوردم ولی او هنوز مرا نگاه می کرد و من مجبور شدم تمام آن را تا ته بخورم. اصلا کار ساده ای نبود. در آخر از من پرسید که آیا باز چیزی می خورم و من اگرچه گرسنه بودم گفتم نه! خیلی شرمنده شده بودم!

به هرحال شب خوابیدم و ساعت 7 صبح بیدار شدم. شب قبل دوچرخه ام را درراهرو گذاشته بودم ولی دیدم که دیگر آنجا نیست! ناگهان ترسی به من هجوم آورد ولی سعی کردم که آنرا پس بزنم. بله! صاحبخانه برای امنیت بیشتر دوچرخه من را در انبار گذاشته بود و من به خاطر اینهمه توجه و محبت ازوتشکر کردم. آنها مرا به صبحانه دعوت کردند و پس از آن من دوباره کوله بارم را جمع کردم تا به سوی آزادی رکاب بزنم.


Latest News

Released at September 13
After I left Tehran, I travelled for a 9 days with my 14 years old nephew in Iran. Now I am back and getting ready tostart cycling in 2 weeks. I am also organizing a campaign in the second week of October in Golestan national park. 
These days I am just training to get ready and fit soon again. Luckily I am in a goo dshape. My only concern is to have a pair of tire which I cant find here in Iran and I need someone to send me from Europe.