Monthly Archives: April 2018

uphill battle

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I woke up in the restaurant with a feeling of dread. It was all too clear what lay before me – 13km steep uphill. Maybe rain. I said goodbye to Abolfaz and the restaurant: Luckily, after colossal rains during the night, it had stopped in the morning. I got on the road and ran into […]


I need to do something about the rain

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The last shop I saw before I hit the country road was a bit underwhelming: And so was the road. It was loud and noisy. But there was hope. Studying the map beforehand had revealed a dirt path that went parallel to the main road. Only when I tried to take it, these two friendly […]


the watch they wanted

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My legs were still bad. Also, I still hadn’t decided which way I was going to take from here. So I stayed in and drank tea. I had it with nabat, a form of yellow rock candy that is very popular in Iran: And I figured I’d tell you about the GPS watch I’ve been […]


the day after leg day

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I woke up and both my legs hurt like hell. So I limped down a few buildings and got some hot water for my tea: Then I limped around some more: I wanted chocolate milk, so I was excited when I found this shop with its beautiful tall boards: I was thinking very hard about […]


a road not taken

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In the morning, I had to say goodbye two times. First to Rasul (who still didn’t smile for photos): And then to Mohsen (who had to go back to the city): Then I continued down the winding mountain roads: Sometimes I saw fields of poppy flowers: And sometimes I saw roads that weren’t mine to […]


shared views

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When I left Bojnurd this morning, I wasn’t alone. Of course the Caboose was with me, as always. But so was a gentleman called Mohsen. He owned a workshop in Bojnurd. He loved traveling. He was on a mountain bike. “Do you mind if I accompany you a little bit?” he asked me. We walked […]


about my cameras

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I used to avoid speaking about specific products that I carry with me on The Longest Way. I would say “I have a DSLR”, but I wouldn’t tell people which brand or which model it was. I think I thought about it in terms of authenticity – I wanted to avoid anything that could appear […]


what’s in children’s hearts

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When I wasn’t updating the blog or replying to emails, I would hang out on the hotel balcony with apples and tea. I found a sticker someone had given to me a long time ago: In the late afternoon, I would go out to a restaurant. Normally, a sight like this would not have any […]


Worry Is A…

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Had to go back to the immigration police this morning. Got up at seven, when all I wanted was to turn around and go back to sleep. But no, I had promised the officers to be there early in the morning. When I arrived, they greeted me with a smile. Then they asked some questions. […]


the visa extension dance

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No, there’s not going to be any dancing in this post (we are still 311,4km from the next one). But sometimes bureaucracy seems like an elaborate sort of dance to me. You have to make moves, and make them gracefully, at the right time, in the right order. So today I went to the immigration […]


four star walk

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I woke up in the bliss of what had turned out to be a four star hotel: When I had shown up the night before, coming in from the darkness, out of my mind from exhaustion, the hotel staff had smiled and given me a special price. The hotel seemed much too nice for a […]


I hate tunnels

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I said goodbye to the Red Crescent dudes: Then I was back on the road, which had started to wind around the mountains: Sometimes, in the valleys, I saw fields of rape (or: rapeseed), and somehow there were always people in them who were taking selfies: My back felt better than the day before, and […]


heavy clouds and a red crescent

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I was told that a Spanish traveler had arrived in my hotel. A Spanish woman? I asked. The answer was no, no, no, a shake of the head. The dude’s name was Raul, and his motorcycle was a bit intimidating, a machine designed to grind the concrete and make dust fly: Reza from the hotel […]


the 360 degree thingy

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I had tricked everyone. And myself. Remember the sick king in Lord Of The Rings, I think his name was Theoden, the one who had his wicked adviser whisper things in his ear all the time? I was both of them, the king and his adviser. The snow will make walking a bad idea, I […]


snow, man

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Just a few days earlier, it had been so warm and the sunshine so strong that I had been wearing only a shirt and ended up getting a little sunburn on my arms. Well, today, when I looked out the window, everything was white: It was mid-April, and Shirvan was covered in snow, and the […]


wear the spare

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When I woke up I was still pretty tired. I went down to the breakfast hall and had two hard-boiled eggs, some cheese and some bread. And a lot of tea. There were no other guests around, but there were party straws: Then I finally went ahead and changed the spare wheel of the Caboose: […]


the day that won

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I woke up with the morning light that fell into the room: And I found myself in a good mood. We all had breakfast, then Vahid’s family watched me load up the Caboose: Vahid took my camera and ran off to photograph his dad with his friends repairing the car: Then we posed for a […]


milk

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When I left, it was another sunny day, and walking felt easy. These two dudes came running after me until they were out of breath, then they asked for a picture: If you look at the map you can see a dotted line. I crossed it today, stepping into my second Iranian province. But nothing […]


the brothers near the shrine

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I left Quchan in the sunshine, and everything was swell. Passed a big fat truck: Passed a monument that looked like… me: Somewhere along the way this gentleman stopped his tractor and asked me to take his picture, so I did: There was laughter in the air and much singing of birds, and my forearms […]


dudes who beat the crap out of other dudes

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One more day to hang out, update the blog, and do laundry (the rope I had brought wasn’t long enough to wash all my clothes in one go). So I mostly stayed around the hotel: One time I went to a small shop and noticed a familiar face: I generally don’t like energy drinks, but […]