The night before poul left, I was a bit sad of course. After we spent another 6 month together, basically a whole summer, it’s quite an emotional thing to say goodbye to your mate. But we both decided not to make a big scene, so next morning I went with him to azadi bus terminal wich meant cycling 10 kilometres in Teherans morning trafic, what a mess, actually beyond a mess. We exchanged good wishes, another hug and off he went.
The last two weeks I had a constant stream of the moments we shared together in my head and that stream did often leave me speechless, thinking of all the vast landscapes we had seen and all the moments we shared.
However, I was not alone though, because my mate branimir was still around and together we spent a few more days in Teheran. Through Couchsurfing we met the lovely shabnam, a young student from Teheran who showed us around and I finally got some nice insights in the urban life here. Iranians are such wonderful people and I wished I had more such friends from Iran.
After few more rest days, I felt like moving on. Leaving Teheran on a bike didn’t sound very promising to me,that’s why I took a bus for 200 km across the mountain range to the caspian coast. Cycling the coast meant busy roads and densely populated areas, so the cycling wasn’t that amazing.
The evenings were quite nice though, as I was always staying with local people. I know that I repeat myself, but again, what lovely people in this country.
In bandar-e-anzali i catched up with my aussie mate rick and branimir from Croatia again. Together we stayed 3 nights in that sleepy seaside town mainly drinking tea and coffee during the day and short walks through the city.
I managed to get to the Iranian/Azeri border by the morning of my last day on my Iranian visa, how efficient is that?!
Right after the border it seemed that the busy streetlife of Iran had disappeared and the first Azeri town seemed almost a bit ghosty.
I just rode the 40 kilometres to the first bigger town ‘Lankaran’ and stayed 3 nights there, basically waiting for better weather to come and for my French mate, quentin.
Together we kept cycling on the brandnew highway that led us straight north. Soon we realised that the locals were as good as the Iranians. We were given fruits, bread and few times random people just paid for our things. Amazing.
While southeastern Azerbaijan is just the extension of the agriculturally dominated land I already knew from the Iranian side, the central part is quite similar to the Kazakh steppe.
Also, Azerbaijan is the country of the pomegranates and I truly love them.
While it was still warm in the steppe, the further we went north the colder it got. We cycled to sheki in the very north part of Azerbaijan and it’s really amazing. Sheki is surrounded by massive Caucasian mountains and was a cute little town to rest for a while.
Unfortuneately my French mate got massive knee problems and we had to split. While he rested another week, I decided to keep going and cycled on calm roads in wet and unpleasant weather to the Georgian border. My last days were so foggy that I could never really enjoy the scenery. Even on my first day in Georgia, I could hardly see the mountains. As I reached sighnaghi, one of the most scenic mountain towns in Georgia I decided to take a rest day, again, to wait for better weather.
Finally the day after, I cycled the remaining 110 kilometres on the kakheti highway to the Georgian capital Tbilisi wich is really a lovely town.