Day 28 - Semen, Iran

Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 28 - August 12, 2017
Tehran, Iran to Seman, Iran
Countries: 23 KMs/Miles: 11353/7055
Breakdowns: 10 Time @ Borders: 35h 53m

The boys woke up early hoping to knock off as many Tehran sites before having to return to the hotel to see Joel off. They were also hoping to buy a few souvenirs, do some printing, search for a Volkswagen dealership, and get some numbers to some car parts that were badly needed. Their ability to communicate though FB and other social media sites censored, they had to take turns with Andy's computer that had a vpn blocker on it. But with the internet being so slow, they struggled to get anything done.

After waiting for John to rise once again, the team finally got on their way. Reza suggesting taking a taxi instead of walking 15min to their first site. After sitting in a car day after day, walking is exactly what they needed. And what a better way to see the city. This was all lost on their guide. And after taking them down a wrong way path, Andy took control by using a map and getting the team there in no time.

The unassuming outside of the National Museum continued inside. The few floors of artifacts were a bit underwhelming for the boys. On a long trip, after seeing so many amazing things already, it's sometimes hard for the later attractions to impress. They didn't end up spending a whole lot of time there and it was pretty apparent that they weren't interesting in being babysat so at the next stop, a grand palace of sorts, their guide went back to the hotel and they were free to do whatever they wanted.

The exterior walls of the palace were dressed in beautiful tiles and the courtyards displayed exquisite empty fountains. Inside left a bit to be desired as the odd placed furniture and campy mirrored walls were unimpressive as though someone had gone to a craft store and did it over the weekend. It's hard to know what the gents were expecting, but the consensus was that it wasn't this. Though a small sample size of sites, they had hoped for something more regal from this historic land. The people so far were the draw so that's where they went, back out into the chaos.

And what a better place to get in the middle of the action than a bazaar. Their first entry into the market was more of a shopping mall. Definitely not what they were looking for. After forcing their way through the crowed, they emerged into the musky indoor streets of shoe shops, carpets, and textiles. Emersing themselves in the hubbub all around them constantly avoiding being run over by men pulling carts full of goods. It was more a business market than for tourists. There probably aren't a ton of tourists coming to Iran and the thought they had of trying to compare it to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul or something was just plain silly. No necklaces or postcards on display here but the business was exciting none the less. A glimpse of another world. And had they wanted to buy a whole roll of Gucci or Adidas clothing tags and make there own knock off gear, this was the place to do it.

Some misinformation about Joel's departure time brought them back to the hotel later than their guide had wanted. A taxi would take him to an airport hotel where he'd be sequestered under lock and key overnight before his early morning flight. A round of complimentary coffee was ordered by Reza only to have to pay for it when they left. WTF. (The boys had to pay for their guide's meals which made the team think he'd just order something so he could have some. This list of annoyances was growing.) Big hugs for Joel as they departed. See you soon buddy. Once a Kook, always a Kook!

Once out of the city, long open highways cut across the open desert landscape. The wind was cool and comfortable. As they drove towards their next stop, Seman, they entered a mountainous region of windswept rock formations and small brick towns. This was the scenery was more what they thought Iran would be. A calm feeling came over them as cruised through the expanse like a Skoda in the wind.

They found the out of the way hotel and another dinner schedule was given to them. We'll meet at this time and go to an empty restaurant for Kababs. Yawn. The couple hours in between were used to write diaries, take long showers, and do the dishes that had been rotting on top of the car for a week. They also noticed that the hotel they'd stayed in in Tehran had written their name all over the car giving them blisters trying to scrub the marker off. Geej also took the opportunity to get some driving practice under his belt. Mikey sitting shotgun they ripped around the abandoned parking lot. This ain't so hard. Not sure why it's taken this long. Time to stop bitching about being tired boys and let the old kid in town take his shift.

They went out for dinner passing a well maintained camping area within the city people often used when travelling on pilgrimages around the country. Amid the neatly spaced trees lay cement tent pads and sitting areas where family's ate and children played. The outdoor restaurant was once again empty except for one table. But as almost all of the Iranians the Kooks had met so far, they were warm and welcoming bringing over and sharing tea and cake from their table. On departing, the Kooks used all the Persian they could muster to show their appreciation for the nice gesture. Always wishing they could repay their sisters and brothers in this big world more for the generosity given to them. Being genuinely thankful and appreciative will have to do for now. They'll surely have their chance soon. End transmission.

Oh one more thing...To Hotel Parasto in Tehran. The ones who tagged are car nine times without our permission. That honour is reserved for those amazing people who have donated to our charities, who have supported us, who have helped us along the way, and for those cool people we met on our journey. Not for some random hotel that we paid to stay at trying to use us as their advertising platform and who's coffee we didn't order cost us more than our entire lunch. Hotel Parasto, you can suck a bag of dicks. End transmission.