tea of Gilan

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Having gone to sleep at two, I somehow woke up at five thirty. I just lay there for a while. Then I got up, brushed my teeth, packed my stuff, and left:

sleeping place in Kumeleh

One of the dudes from the night before came along on his motorcycle and said goodbye:

tattoo artist

And then I was alone on the road. It led up and down the hills of Gilan:

road through the hills in Gilan

There were villas in those hills:

villas in Gilan

I saw tea plants:

tea fields

I sat down in a tea house:

tea house

And I had a cup of tea:

tea and tea leaves

Then my way led through rice fields again:

rice field and clouds

There were horses and birds in those fields:

horse in Gilan

And I found all of it quite charming, but after a while the road led back to the screaming highway:

highway in Gilan

I was only able to leave it again after an hour or two, and when I did, I came to a place where people had placed green ribbons on trees:

green ribbons on trees

It reminded me of a similar phenomenon I had seen in Kazakhstan two years earlier.

The difference here was that all ribbons were green:

green ribbons

Then I saw a shrine up in the hills:

Sheikh Zahed Gilan’s Shrine

I stood motionless for a while, debating if I should attempt to pull the Caboose up there or not. And then I did:

shrine building

It was Sheikh Zahed Gilan’s Shrine, and it was a bit like all of the other shrines before it, but one thing was different:

inside the shrine

There was no divider to separate the female visitors from their male counterparts:

back part of the shrine

It was still early in the afternoon, and France and Croatia were just about to play the final game of the World Cup. I sat down on the roadside and had some tea with a group of gentlemen:

roadside tea

When I arrived in the city of Lahijan, France had won:

night in Lahijan

And I had had a lot of tea.

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