75km Persepolis to Sa’adat Shahr
A chilly morning made getting out of the tent difficult work but once we got up the courage to leave our sleeping bags we had more historical sites to explore than you could shake a stick at. The area is littered with ruins so we spent a few hours going from one to the other, seeing elaborate tombs carved high into rockfaces, stone reliefs and the remains of ancient cities. All of this was on the old road instead of a newer route north so between sites we pedalled along with relatively few cars to disturb us. The sunshine was on our backs and all in all it was just about as perfect a day as you can have on the bicycle. In the afternoon we stopped in a small town to try and find fuel for our stove. With petrol rationed here, the queues at gas stations are quite long so we prefer to ask around and see if anyone is selling unwanted fuel from small shops. In fact we’ve never had to pay for fuel yet for our stove and today was no different, although we didn’t get it from a container as usual.
Instead a man siphoned some out of his blue pickup truck for us! We’re glad it was him and not us getting a taste of petrol. Yuck. We didn’t time our day quite right and we found ourselves in a town as the sun was going down, not ideal for tenting. So, we pulled out our emergency card and asked at a police station on the outskirts for help. We had our eyes on a field next to the police station but the chief had other ideas. For whatever reason he didn’t want us at his post so a constable led us back nearer the centre where the men in charge at a second police station motioned for us to put our tent on the gravelled walkway just outside the station walls. It’s a little noisier than we’d like with traffic going by but it’s certainly secure. We don’t expect anyone will try to steal something when two men with machine guns are on guard a few feet away!