Fun and Games in Iran

P 43: Had our first taste of mechanical problems in the middle of the Iranian desert yesterday with the car struggling to get into 3rd and 4th gear. After taking a look we found the top throttle cable loose but couldn't work out why it wouldn't return and tighten up. With the next major town 600km away we were faced with driving all the way there at 35mph!

However, we stopped at a couple of garages but no one could figure it out. As the motorway called through a small town with literally 1km of garages we decided to try one last garage. After being turned away we'd given up all hope, until 2 chaps on a moped sped up and insisted we drive to their garage.

Sure enough, after the entire family running the garage stopped everything to gather round and offer suggestions we found the throttle cable just needed oiling. So they oiled it, and it was fine. But rather than let us just get on our way they invited us through the back of the workshop for a few large glasses of highly potent moonshine, with cucumbers and nectarines.

Soon other members of the family turned up, including Uncle Ali who informed us he'd just been smoking 'the opium'. After spending a few hours drinking, eating pistachios and lots of nectarines we then drove to a rest stop and crashed out.

Today we drove to Masshad and met with the Swedish/iranian couple we met at the border. We followed the address they gave us, which ended up being an orphanage which they run! Very bizarre few days indeed, but incredibly impressed with the way we've been looked after and welcomed in Iran the past few days!

Typing this very quicly from the back of a photography shop, who's owners very kindly let us use their computer.

Turkmenistan tomorrow, so fingers crossed we'll make it through and merge unscathed!

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