Shiraz and a return to the saddle

The dome of the shrineShiraz street sceneA long trip south by bus landed us in Shiraz yesterday. What a change from Tehran. Green grass. Sun warming our backs. Birds singing in the trees. It was a nice arrival indeed. Only the hotel let us down (slightly dingy, on the other hand it’s good for the budget if nothing else) but we haven’t spent much time there anyway. Shiraz has so many shrines, mosques, gardens and other sites to visit we’ve been pounding the pavement most of the day. The rest of the time we’ve been gazing at maps, plotting our return to the road. After so long off the bikes we are really going stir crazy so now that the weather is manageable again we’re going to head down to the Persian Gulf tomorrow, charting a course via Firuz Abad to the coast, then west towards Bushehr and back up to Shiraz in two weeks for our first visa extension. The whole area is filled with ruins so we shouldn’t be short of things to see and the seaside will give us a real taste of warmth in the winter. But the best part of all will be getting back in the saddle again. If the past few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that bus travel is definitely not our style!


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    Hotel Zand, just off the main street in the centre of town, may be listed at the top of the list in the Lonely Planet but we found it left much to be desired. The cost is 100,000 Rials for a double room with shower but all three of the beds in our room came with complementary hairs from the previous clients. We got out our sleeping bags instead of using the beds. At night we saw a few bugs running across the floors and the room is generally in need of a good lick of paint and some TLC. We should have looked for somewhere else but by the time we moved our bags in and noticed the hairs on the bed and other joys we were too tired to do anything about it. The staff speak little English. We can say a couple good things: the shower is hot and you can use the kitchen.

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