DAY 13 – The Iranian tarallucci&vino

186 miles
#Kapan to #Tabriz

You drive down from Armenia to Iran. You collect Tim (non Maia), a Czech hitchicker, you top up your stomach a little bit, and you’re ready for the border crossing that everybody has described as the most impossible, long, tedious, stressing and unsustainable crossing ever. Endless queues wait for you down the valley. Iranian police will search you car top to bottom, front to rear, paying attention at every single expression you do to betray yourself. Get ready!

We are kicked out by Armenian police without too many smiles. We slowly start driving toward the Iranian booth. A guy that was nicely sleeping wakes up to check our passport. The Iranian border is in front of us. We tremble, we have some alcohol with us we didn’t throw away. They are gonna find it. That’s the end…

The rest of the story is simple. Officers smiling, shaking our hands, inviting us for tea and melon in the border crossing office, taking picture with us. Nobody touches the car. Nobody checks anything. We’re free to go. Iran, here we come.

The way the landscape changes on the crossing between the two countries is unbelievable. It’s like a punch at your face. Smoothly shaped green Armenian mountains becoming spiky and sharp massive mountains all of a sudden, just after crossing the river. Also the temperature gains 10 degree.

The story at the border was only the introduction to the famous Iranian warm hospitality. After having being escorted to the hostel by two guys on a massive SUV, we end the night wandering around Tabriz, talking with a random Iranian guy about engineering processes to melt together different materials. Mah!

Number of countries crossed: 11
Days without accidents: 13
Number of times the counter has been reset: 0