too much walking

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I woke up in pain. It was good, full-body pain, so I wasn’t alarmed. Also, my foot hurt, but not too much.

So I decided to do another 40k and walk all the way to Gorgan in one day.

When I left the hotel I noticed this:

ice-cream in beer mugs

In a country that had outlawed alcohol, cocktail glasses and beer mugs were being filled with ice-cream. Maybe all the people really wanted was to have a drink, though?

I also noticed this:

Propaganda mural and a Zoroastrian logo

A mural reminding me strongly of Chinese Communist propaganda. And under it, a Zoroastrian graffito. I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

And then there was this:

the couple

They were everywhere – two old, bearded men looking down from posters and murals on every corner. There was a strange sense of intimacy between them.

Not being able to speak the language meant that many things remained a mystery to me:

mural

Like this propaganda mural of a one-legged silhouette in front of what I figured was a gigantic sunset. Did it have to do with war veterans? What were the palm trees for?

I passed a river that had almost dried up:

dry river

And when I noticed this samovar in front of a roadside shop, I touched it to make sure if it was hot or not:

hot samovar

Like all the other samovars on my way, it was hot, which meant that people were getting hot water during the day, in spite of Ramadan.

I took a late lunch break with some hammock time and two eggs and some bread in this little forest:

forest

Then I continued walking. The landscape was beautiful:

green Golestan

But walking became increasingly difficult. I was tired and sore, and my right foot hurt more than the left one did. It was annoying. So I had a hard time enjoying the rice paddies I saw along the way:

rice paddy

I had dinner of canned vegetables and a bottle of lemonade in front of this shop, and the people there cheered me up a bit:

shop dudes

It took another hour until I entered Gorgan:

entering Gorgan at night

When I arrived in the outskirts of town, the street vendors were getting ready to close up and go home:

melon vendor

It was dark, and there weren’t that many people on the streets. I walked past a mini shop:

mini shop

And a toilet shop:

toilet shop

And as I was still contemplating how accurately the toilet shop had represented the actual distribution of toilets in Iran, I realized that I had arrived:

walking through nightly Gorgan

Finally, I was in Gorgan.

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