My biggest worry of the day was my left Achilles tendon, which is inflamed and painful. Still, I pushed through and made an okay distance, getting to the west side of Khoy, from which my next milestone is the Iranian/Turkish border, about 60km from where I’m spending the night. My camp spot is pretty terrible. The area around me consists of privately owned land that is well marked and protected by fences and gates. I escaped from the main road down a little track that took me to a scrappy area of shoulder-high grasses in between a few scrappy fields. I managed to find one patch of dirt the size of tent. Unfortunately the dirt patch is bumpy and lumpy. The grasses around me are pretty impressive, but for an annoying reason: they exhibit ingenious solutions to the challenge of how to best disperse their seeds, and it’s impossible to move around without becoming coated in them. I had a surprising experience about fifteen minutes before finding my camp. A car containing two young girls stopped to chat. When they got out of their car, their head scarves were around their necks. They glanced around before putting them in place. They were very nice and spoke excellent English, so we had a good chat about what I was doing there. We swapped Instagram details before saying bye and parting ways. Why was this surprising? In a country where an unmarried guy and girl can’t hang out in public together, it’s not very common that Iranian girls would approach a random guy like this. While messaging one of the girls on Instagram, a man wandered into my little area, getting a shock to find my setup. He seemed to be out enjoying a walk and smoking. I don’t feel the need to be worried that someone knows I’m here, despite the girls telling me that Khoy isn’t really a safe place. Sitting next to me is the largest sunflower head I have ever seen. I was given it by a couple of guys who were harvesting the seeds from a massive pile of sunflower heads on a new road. My day was otherwise uneventful. The weather was fantastic for riding, but again I am facing a cold night.
|Distance ridden today||102.32km|
|Average cycling speed||17.8kph|
|Total distance ridden||24,480km|