We all woke up early this morning. We could say it was our energetic desire to get on the road at the crack of dawn but in truth we really couldn’t have slept in even if we’d wanted to. Even before the sun was up, buses started pulling into the rest stop in their dozens, letting their crowds of overnight travellers use the bathroom and do their morning prayers at the mosque. Friedel got up at 5:30am thinking that would be a quiet time to wash her hair, only to find the small bathroom filled with at least thirty women and no way to get near the sink. We packed up surprisingly quickly and the three of us set off for the desert, loaded down with water and food for a couple of days.
We’d been told to expect nothing for the next 170km to Tabas but as it turned out we found a mosque with cold water in the morning and an emergency medical station in the afternoon, where the attendants were also happy to refill our bottles. The cycling was surprisingly easy with some nice downhills and beautifully desolate scenery. Even some camels poked their heads over some nearby hills to say hello as we flew past.
Before we knew it we’d broken the 100km mark, without even really trying. We probably could have carried on but we spotted some buildings and from a distance it looked like the perfect camping spot. Our instincts were right. What we found was a shelter run by some government wardens, who keep an eye on illegal hunting in the area. We were warmly welcomed to stay the night with them and use their water and bathrooms. They even brought us tea in the evening: five-star camping! We chattered into the night with Bijan – it’s so nice to have some company – and then decided to sleep under the stars in the mild weather. You have to take advantage of perfect nights like this.