79km Nyshabur to Fakhr e dawood

Vegetable market in NeyshaburThere’s nothing like a good shower to set you on the right course and Iran’s hammams have kept us nice and clean lately. We didn’t really think to use them earlier in our trip, or if the thought crossed our mind we were put off by the challenge of finding one without being able to speak the language, but Bijan has led us to a few over the past week or so and now we’re converted. For about $0.50 you can get scrubbed up in your own private cubicle and wash your clothes at the same time. Fantastic.

After our wash, we made another important stop at the pastry shop for a sweet breakfast, washed down with freshly squeezed carrot juice. All these things would be luxuries in Europe but that’s the wonderful thing about touring in less developed countries. You get a real bang for your buck. Even with the U.S. dollar falling as it has lately – we’ve been carrying greenbacks and swapping them for an ever decreasing amount of Rials – things are still pretty good value here. When we finally got down to the business of cycling it was rather less interesting than the rest of the trip. There’s just a motorway between here and Mashhad so it was put-your-head-down stuff.

Late in the day we ventured into a village in search of supplies and a quiet place to camp for the night. You know it’s a tiny spot when most of the town comes out to greet you and the shop owner can be pulled out of his home to open the only store, just because you happened to arrive. We made another stop for bread fresh out of the oven and then we found a home for our tents just outside the town. The peacefulness of the surrounding fields and vineyards make a welcome change from the roar of the traffic going to Mashhad.