Posts for October, 2013


Troglodites (South of Yadz, Iran)

Journal entry for Tuesday 1st Oct, 2013 (day 181, miles 13803)

This morning we spent an hour or more searching for the town of Maymand. The group of Iranians we spoke to two nights ago at the Kaluts told us that this town was a must see, so there we were, or maybe there we were not. The town was not mentioned on any of our maps, that was a good start. From the Lonely Planet Guide we found that it was north east from the town of Shahr-e Babak. So here we were this morning driving through the Shahr-e Babak with no sign (or signs to) Maymand.

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A visit to Yazd (Yazd, Iran)

Journal entry for Wednesday 2nd Oct, 2013 (day 182, miles 13940)

Our visit to Yazd today was a good demonstration of the extra difficulty we are having trying to see some of the towns/cities of Iran. Todays strategy was to enter the city early before the rush of early morning traffic, then find a place to park while we went looking for a hotel. The early start was somewhat thwarted by a poilce checkpoint on the southern edge of the city that wanted to record the details of our passports. Our initial entry to the city was not too bad as there was an extensive modern freeway system. But once into the heart of things the streets narrowed, the traffic became dense and frantic, and we kept getting faced with no-truck signs; however by now we have concluded that those signs can be largely ignored. After a few attempts we found a place to park the truck while I went scouting the central area of the city looking for some of the hotels that claimed to have parking.

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Ancient Persian ruins (Persepolis, Iran)

Journal entry for Thursday 3rd Oct, 2013 (day 183, miles 14102)

Up with the sun again this morning. We are beginning to notice the shorter daylight hours and so for the past week we have been trying to get started earlier. Before leaving the Abarkuh area this morning we went back into the town to see a 4000 year old cypress tree. Fortunately there were a series of signs in English that took us to the tree which was situated in a small park and surrounded by a fence/hedge. Interestingly even at this early hour we found two families picnicking on the entranceway. The Lonely Planet guide for Iran notes that Iranians are the world champions of picnicking as they stop and put our their picnic carpet just about anywhere. We agree with that comment and would add that Iranians are also world champion tenters. As they pop up their little self-erecting tents anywhere.

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An update from Iran

Posted Friday 4th Oct, 2013

Things had been going well in Iran, no hassles from anyone, lots of people to talk to. The only problem up until today was lack of internet and hence no ability to post entries to whiteacorn.

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Our Shiraz Odessey - Episode 1 (Shiraz, Iran)

Journal entry for Tuesday 8th Oct, 2013 (day 188, miles 14122)

My previous post at Iran Update gave a mere notification that we had some vehicle problems. It is about time I tried to bring everyone up to date on our Shiraz Odessey.

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Our Shiraz Odessey - Episode 2 (Shiraz, Iran)

Journal entry for Saturday 12th Oct, 2013 (day 192, miles 14122)

So our Shiraz odessey continues. Following our day of testing the truck and the lack of a clear conclusion Mr H and I decided to explore more seriously the possibility that we could get (source) new genuine Unimog parts to replace all the suspect parts in that right rear hub. It took a couple of days of chasing around but by Wed 9th we concluded that such a plan seemed feasible. Thereafter we (Mr H and I) spent a couple of days with more chasing around and more phone calls to set such a plan in motion. So as of Friday 11th we seemed to have organized to source the parts and have them delivered to Shiraz. The bad news is that it is going to be expensive ($6000+) and slow - at the earliest the parts will not be in Shiraz until Friday 18th and they could be considerably later than that. Just to make things more interesting this means we will have to extend our visas as our current visas only last until Oct 23rd.

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Our Tehran Excursion (Shiraz, Iran)

Journal entry for Wednesday 16th Oct, 2013 (day 196, miles 14122)

The night bus trip to Tehran was surprisingly comfortable. The bus was clean, the seats spacious and they reclined. Also to our surprise the bus crew served dinner of rice, chicken kebab and coke. Really quite civilized.

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Shiraz Odessey - Episode 3 (Shiraz, Iran)

Journal entry for Saturday 19th Oct, 2013 (day 199, miles 14122)

So back to the ongoing story of the truck and the spare parts. On Tuesday in Tehran the FEDEX website was reporting that the 2 parcels were in Dubai. That was good news, the German end of this saga had been completed, the parts were obtained, packed, shipped and had arrived at their first destination. So as we got on the bus Tuesday 15th evening to return to Shiraz I was feeling optomistic. All we had to do now was to get the parts from Dubai to Shiraz. That next step was going to depend on a pair of local entrepeneurs called Mr H1 (in Shiraz) and Mr H2 in Dubai.

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Shiraz Odessey - Episode 4 (Shiraz, Iran)

Journal entry for Tuesday 22nd Oct, 2013 (day 202, miles 14122)

When we went down for breakfast Monday morning (Oct 21st) Hossein R (the guide that helped us at the border) was waiting for us. As noted in the previous post he had come all the way from the Caspian Sea coast to sort out an issue with the Iranian Customs Department who were coming to the conclusion that we (Nina and Robert) had sold our vehicle and left the country

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Shiraz Odessey - Episode 5 (Shiraz, Iran)

Journal entry for Thursday 24th Oct, 2013 (day 204, miles 14122)

This entry could have been called just waiting as that's what we are doing. On Tuesday we heard that our 2 parcels of spare parts were "about to land" in Iran (what ever that meant) and that once "landed" they would be "put in a taxi to Shiraz". Well it is now Thursday and we have heard no more about progress.

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An update from Iran number 2

Posted Thursday 24th Oct, 2013

OK so some of you have noticed that updates to our website are starting to emerge again. Does that mean the truck is fixed and we are on the move again? Unfortunately it does not. We are still waiting for spare parts to arrive. Only a little while ago I got a phone call saying "tomorrow"; but we all know what that really means. Not today.

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Shiraz Odessey - the 6th and final Episode (Persepolis, Iran)

Journal entry for Saturday 26th Oct, 2013 (day 206, miles 14244)

Last night we heard that our long awaited spare parts had arrived in Shiraz and that we could pick them up at 9:00am this morning. Well as with everything else about this story that 9:00am dragged out a bit and it was not until 11:00 that we had the two parcels in our possession. After that we spent the remainder of the day preparing to depart Shiraz. We had to buy oil, get some more money, and pack up all the stuff we had taken to the hotel. Just in case you think we are getting ahead of ourselves as we only have the parts in our hot little hands, they have not been installed in the truck yet. Well the plan was that we would take ourselves, the truck and parts back to Marvdasht to have that same mechanic install the new parts. After all he has had the experience of taking the hub apart once now and that's more experience than anyone else in this town is likely to have had.

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On the road again (Road To Esfahan, Iran)

Journal entry for Sunday 27th Oct, 2013 (day 207, miles 14468)

Our truck is fixed (we hope) and it is time to get back on the road. Today we headed towards Esfahan about 450 km away. We maintained a moderate pace and checked the wheel hubs a number of times to make sure that the newly repaired hub was not getting hot. The good news - it seemed OK.

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Jewel of Iran (Esfahan, Iran)

Journal entry for Monday 28th Oct, 2013 (day 208, miles 14531)

Once having completed checkin formailities and parked ourselves I set about draining the oil from the newly repaired hub. Every one in Shiraz told me I had to do this and in truth I wanted to see how much metal had accumulated on the magnetic drain plug. A large accumulation would indicate a likely problem with the most recent repair. The outcome was a modest amount of metal debris on the magnetic plug. So we are probably OK, but I will check again in a few days.

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More spectacular sightseeing (Esfahan, Iran)

Journal entry for Tuesday 29th Oct, 2013 (day 209, miles 14531)

So we were off again this morning at around 9:00am to see more of the treasures that Esfahan has to offer. Our first stop this morning was to be the Jameh Mosque but after our taxi driver dropped us a little way from the Mosque we proceeded to get a little lost and wandered through alleys crowded with small businesses of many sorts. Eventually after asking a number of people for directions we found the correct entrance at the back of a crowded part of the central bazar. Within minutes of entering the Mosque we were approached by a man named Mahmoud who took on the role of guide. He took us around this amazing building. Initially constructed in the 11 century by the Seljuks there have been a number of reconstructions and additions over the years. But the spectacular northern and southern domes are original.

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First snow (Hamedan, Iran)

Journal entry for Wednesday 30th Oct, 2013 (day 210, miles 14819)

Today really brought home to us that winter is just around the corner. Some how the change in weather just snuck up on us as only 3 weeks ago we were trying to stay cool and complaining about the truck airconditioner not working. Whereas this morning as we prepared to depart Esfahan the sun was not up until 7:00am and the morning was cold, temps in the low 40°F. Later in the day as we drove north and a little west into the edge of the Zagros mountains we saw a dusting of fresh snow on the peaks and the temperatures in the valleys were sometimes only in the 30°Fs.

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Takht-e Soleiman (Takht-e Soleiman, Iran)

Journal entry for Thursday 31st Oct, 2013 (day 211, miles 15036)

We tried for an even earlier start this morning being on the road and moving even before the sun had poked its face over the horizon. An effort on our part to get past/through the town of Hamedan before the traffic got really crazy.

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