Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 27 - August 11, 2017
Masuleh, Iran to Tehran, Iran
Countries: 23 KMs/Miles: 11120/6910
Breakdowns: 10 Time @ Borders: 35h 53m
Another early rise after a great sober sleep, the Kooks were out the door by 8am and on their way to Tehran today. Joel's last night before flying back to Barcelona where he now resides. He has no visa for Turkmenistan and has some work to do in Spain so he'll meet back up with them somewhere down the road before the finish line. But, like a broken record, it takes them over 2hrs to finally get out of town after breakfast, looking for a camping store and finally resolving the laundry which was negotiated down to 170,000. It's done and sorted but still a waste of money and more importantly time.
On route, they stopped at a shrine and a pilgrimage hot spot said to be where Mohammed's grandson is buried, complete with a small tomb behind glass and decorative bars. The walls and ceiling completely covered in a mosaic of mirror designs. An entirely different look then what they had encountered before. The lads wanted more of this kind of thing but their guide seemed to only want to get from point A to B and stop for two hour lunches. Hotel to restaurant to hotel to restaurant. Pretty boring, the fellas wanted to see some shit! And his navigation left he drivers in fits, getting lost and giving them only seconds of warning before they had to turn or take an exit. That just can't be done when you're convoying.
The day was cool and cloudy to start. Only 29C. Time for a jumper! Its funny how the body can acclimatize to different temperatures so quickly. They were flying on the semi-smooth highways and only a couple of hours from Tehran when Mikey noticed a problem with YACKS. The wheels seem out of alignment and when John jacked her up on the side of the road, he confirmed it. Shit. He wonders how they made it this far. Nearly snapped apart, it would have taken the front half of the car off. This is a now problem and needs to be fixed asap. Every time is seems like easy sailing and they'll be a city early enough to explore and relax, something happens to ruin it. #rallylife
They consider towing her to a shop when a local stops and tells them they are only 8km from a town where he knows some mechanics. Unfortunately in Iran, Friday is when most things are closed but its worth a try. He then goes to his car and grabs a bag full of boxed lunches giving them to this group of adventurers free of charge. The lunches were meant for some factory workers down the road. I guess they'll go hungry as the Kooks get fatter! Seems fair.
They carefully roll into town and find the mechanic willing to stay open across from a nice park overlooking a reservoir and surrounded by mountains, an elevated freeway, and some wind turbines. As strange site in oil rich Iran. John, happy to finally get under the car, trades shifts in the inspection pit with the Iranian mechanic where they tinker around. Taking apart the undercarriage, they discounter the wishbone is corroded to shit. An uncommon site for a car only ten years old. There's no way they're going to get a part here. They haven't even seen any VWs or Skodas at all driving around in Iran. Pugeots are the car of choice here. John is devastated.
The mechanic then grabs the parts and starts hammering away at it and with the help of their free lunch friend, find a welder a few blocks away willing to come in on his day off and take a look. He takes YACKS' chicken wing and driving away only to return awhile later with a reinforced part. John is completely amazed! There is no way that anyone in Scotland would even think of repairing something like this or in any of the countries the Kooks come from. This definitely wont pass and serious inspection but it will get them on the road and moving again. Until the next breakdown that is. Thankfully everyone they meet is super friendly and goes out of their way to help. A great country for that. What the Rally is all about.
About 10km out of Tehran the traffic really started to get heavy. Joel behind the wheel in the silver car weaving his way in an out of traffic hoping Reza will give him enough time to cross a six lane highway in time to take an exit. Mikey driving the red car trying to stay in position to follow, a near impossible task as the congestion became wall to wall traffic. No real lanes to follow and everyone jostling for position. He would fall two cars behind to 20 in a matter of seconds. Other drivers on the road continually cutting in and surrounding the teams to get a better look but unknowingly hindering their ability to form a unit. The passengers having to climb out the window to get a view on where their teammates were as their walkie talkies not longer functioned. A valiant effort by both drivers indeed.
What fun it was! Every car honking at them and taking pictures with the Kook kars returning the greetings. Gotta give them what they want! A very festive mood was about and everyone was enjoying it. One Iranian guy handing a bunch of bananas to the lead car. Hanging out the window, Geej ripped off and tossed a couple to Andy a few cars back also hanging off the side like a monkey. John whipping his peels on the windshield of teammates. HAHA! The locals around them laughed and joined in the fun waving what appeared to be a sports team's scarves and flags. There must be a football match happening somewhere! Let's go!
Girls blow kisses at the team as people loose their minds when they sound the horns. It was the closest they'd get to going to a busy bar! Mingling though the tightly packed cars, enjoying the interactions with all around them. More and more football revellers passed either cheering for a blue team or a red team. "Let's do this!" The lads were excited to maybe join this cavalcade of fans so they asked Reza who replied that the game had ended and were going home. Damn. Wait, how does he know, where is he getting this information. Soon after, they found out from another car that it hadn't started yet and they were on their way there; their guide once again misinforming them pissing off the crew. Whenever he didn't know something, he would seemingly just make something up. Annoying.
They missed the jammed up turn off the the soccer match so they decided to go check into the hotel first, get settled, and figure out if they could get tickets. This took them quite a bit longer than they thought as the traffic in the centre of Tehran was just as hectic and chaotic as the roads coming in. By the time they checked in to their unimpressive hotel, the dream of heading back was deflating. John, the only who didn't really want to go as he isn't a fan of football, would have no doubt been swept up in the excitement of being with tens of thousands of wild cheering fans. The y all knew it wasn't the game they wanted, it was the atmosphere.
And as the internet was highly regulated, the hopes of finding some underground club or speakeasy were also kiboshed. They settled for a restaurant mere blocks from their hotel. Their big night in the big city of Tehran a bit of a bust, their guide first choosing a empty place void of any stimulation with anyone other than themselves. The next place was a bit better but the monotony of just going to restaurants was beginning to set in. Kababs again were good and the shisha was strong. The Kooks wanted to give Joel a going away party for the ages but tea and candy would suffice. Maybe he'd stay and marry here. The boys would collect coins and attend his wedding. But if it's gonna be a dry wedding, expect a few less RSVPs my friend.
As Andy stayed up to trying to get some admin done, Geej and John snuck out at night to walk the streets to find anything to rattle their feathers. But no dice. The police didn't even give these foreigners a second look. Hopefully, they'll find it tomorrow, though their guide told them that there was nothing do do at the next town they'd visit. Sounds fun. Can't wait. Way to jack this crew up. End transmission.