Started walking at six thirty in the morning. There was a mountain range ahead that I would have to cross today, so I needed all the time I could get.
Walked past the mosque:
And past the village:
There were many buildings that looked abandoned:
And then I was on the road that led into the mountains:
There wasn’t much traffic.
I saw hills on both sides of the road:
And the road climbed higher and higher. Just as I was resting from a particularly difficult slope, this friendly gentleman stopped his car for a chat:
Sometimes there were little dirt tracks going off from the main road and into the mountains:
I was tempted to take one of them and see if I could find a shortcut through the serpentines that led up the mountains, but I opted against it. Didn’t want to get lost like that time in 2007.
And then the road reached a plateau, and it stopped climbing. Or rather, I gradually gained altitude, but there were no terrible slopes anymore. I was very relieved.
Passed a roadside building once:
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a shop. I would have liked to get a cold drink. But no. It was locked.
A family stopped and gave me some apples:
And then it was rolling hills again. Not mountains, just rolling hills:
And then there were more abandoned buildings:
I walked around in them a little:
And I found drawings of boobs:
And drawings of dicks:
And something that was apparently a sad message:
I ran into another family after this:
They gave me all kinds of food, most notably fresh pistachios:
Here’s the Let’s Walk episode of the day:
There were more ruins:
And it was at this point that I realized that I had been mistaken in my previous optimism. Because now, at this point, the real mountains started. The slopes were very steep, and they seemed to be endless. I resorted to my old tactic of walking for one or two songs and then sitting down to have an apple:
Strangely enough, I still noticed quite a few empty beer bottles in this country that had banned alcohol altogether:
One time a friendly couple stopped for a chat, and they told me it wasn’t that far up to the top from there:
How far exactly? They weren’t sure.
I started listening to my most treasured metal classics. Lots of old Sepultura. I tried to get myself pumped. But I was starting to wear out:
And then, just as darkness was falling, I had reached the highest point of the mountain road:
A gentleman by the name of Jalil and his family and friends were there:
We were all very merry.
I could see the village of Mazdavand glowing at the foot of the mountain:
So the Caboose and I took the steep slopes down:
Here’s an altitude chart of the day, btw:
I sat down for a while once I reached the village, upon which two dudes appeared:
We didn’t understand each other very well, but we laughed a lot, and so it was all good.
They explained to me that the best place to go was not in the village, but slightly beyond it. So again I picked up the handlebars of the Caboose, and we walked past the village:
Then we saw a large mosque glowing in the distance:
It seemed like some sort of service area, with wash rooms, drinking fountains, pavilions, food places, and several shops:
We got a place right next to the mosque:
And I have to say it was a pretty neat little place:
I was too tired to eat. So I munched on some cookies and some pistachios, and I had another one of those malty non-alcoholic drinks that looked like beer:
Strangely enough, the alcohol prohibition seemed to make me crave alcohol. Human nature?