Once again I am typing in my nylon fortress, lying on my stomach with my upper body propped up on my elbows, putting a much-needed bend in my back that is opposite from the one I have all day while cycling. Regular traffic is rushing by on the main road, which is about 250m away, hidden by the foliage of the apple tree orchard in which I have made my home. My knees and Achilles tendons are hurting and I am putting it down to the fact that my bike is nearly the most heavily laden it’s been. Why? Because in addition to the food that I bought for myself to cover a couple of days, I am carrying a couple of days’ worth of food that was given my by the lovely family I’ve staying with – all home-cooked packages: vegetable rissoles, dolmada-like parcels, bread, rice, vegetable curries, sweet rice pudding, baklava, almonds… And on top of this I am carrying a couple of books gifted to me, including the holy Quran, and a book about Tabriz….and two scarves. And of course I was gifted a couple of goodies by people on the road too, including an apple and bag of raisins. Despite the load, the riding felt easy enough, taking me on a relatively flat route north and west to the top of Lake Urmia. The sky was clear and the sun was warm, but the air was cool, making or a perfect day for cycling. It’s really starting to get cold right now though. I am snug in my thermals but really need to get my feet inside my sleeping bag. As I ate dinner I checked my messages and was surprised to read a message from Mohammad Mahdi, who felt the need to apologise for the way I was treated, being ‘made’ to sleep on a mattress on the floor and being hammered with questions every moment. If only they truly knew how incredibly amazing it was to have spent such time with them. I did my best to assure him that he and his family couldn’t have been more loving and generous!
|Distance ridden today||106.91km|
|Average cycling speed||18.8kph|
|Total distance ridden||24,378km|