33km Gonbadli to Sarakhs
Today we’re singing the praises of the humble hammam. We didn’t really start to use the public bathhouses until Bijan introduced us to them going across the Dasht-e-Kavir desert but now we’re converted. For only 5,000 Rials – about 50 U.S. cents – you get a scrub up in your own private room. What could be better than that after a few nights of camping? Freshly washed, we spent the last of our remaining Iranian cash and rushed off to see what the border guards would make of our visas, with one exit date stamped as today and another dated for tomorrow. They were clever fellows and quickly realised their mistake as well as the fact that we wouldn’t be allowed to enter Turkmenistan today. We were assured there wasn’t a problem for us to stay one more night in Iran and so we went in search of a quiet place to camp. We were surprised to find a tranquil, grassy field just a few hundred meters from the border post so we lazed around for the rest of the afternoon, taking a last good rest before our dash across Turkmenistan. The weather was so mild and inviting that we didn’t even put up our tent but spent the night under our tarp with the fresh breeze blowing across our faces while we slept.