Sepultachios

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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:

mosque of Shurloq

And past the village:

leaving Shurloq

There were many buildings that looked abandoned:

ruins in Shurloq

And then I was on the road that led into the mountains:

desert road near Shurloq

There wasn’t much traffic.

I saw hills on both sides of the road:

hills near Shurloq

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:

friendly dude

Sometimes there were little dirt tracks going off from the main road and into the mountains:

road to somewhere

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.

tree

Passed a roadside building once:

roadside building

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:

family

And then it was rolling hills again. Not mountains, just rolling hills:

road in the hills

And then there were more abandoned buildings:

ruins in the desert

I walked around in them a little:

inside the ruins

And I found drawings of boobs:

boob drawing

And drawings of dicks:

penis drawing

And something that was apparently a sad message:

drawing

I ran into another family after this:

they give me fresh pistachios

They gave me all kinds of food, most notably fresh pistachios:

fresh pistachios

Here’s the Let’s Walk episode of the day:

There were more ruins:

ruin in the mountains

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:

apple

Strangely enough, I still noticed quite a few empty beer bottles in this country that had banned alcohol altogether:

beer bottle

One time a friendly couple stopped for a chat, and they told me it wasn’t that far up to the top from there:

friendly couple

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:

highest point of the mountain

A gentleman by the name of Jalil and his family and friends were there:

Jalil and family

We were all very merry.

I could see the village of Mazdavand glowing at the foot of the mountain:

looking down at Mazdavand

So the Caboose and I took the steep slopes down:

Caboose in the mountains

Here’s an altitude chart of the day, btw:

altitude 2017-10-01

I sat down for a while once I reached the village, upon which two dudes appeared:

dudes in Mazdavand

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:

road out of Mazdavand

Then we saw a large mosque glowing in the distance:

Imam Reza mosque

It seemed like some sort of service area, with wash rooms, drinking fountains, pavilions, food places, and several shops:

at the mosque

We got a place right next to the mosque:

night next to the mosque

And I have to say it was a pretty neat little place:

my night

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:

stuff that is not beer

Strangely enough, the alcohol prohibition seemed to make me crave alcohol. Human nature?



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