09 October, Thursday
Tehran - Qom - Kashan (257 km)
We were free at last. We woke up gloriously. We missed our bikes. First we went to the Embassy again to give the travel document back. After that we stopped by the Foreign Affairs to see if there's anything to do there, but it was closed. It was thursday, so we didn't understand the reason. We left the documents to the reception at Hafez Hotel for Ibrahim to pick up and return to the Foreign Affairs later.
We were so excited to move on. It was like the second half of the trip. After going east for a week, it was time to go south. The original plan was to reach Yazd but it was noon when we finished the formalities. So, we decided to call it a day in Kashan. There was a nice highway to Kashan. Although our first attempt failed, we gave it another chance and entered the toll road. I usually don't take the highway but the old road was just going paralel, no attractions. This time, there were no problems and we passed through several checkpoints and tolls without paying. They just waved their hands at the toll booth meaning "Go on, pass".
After passing Qom, we started to feel the desert. Endless tobacco-colored plain... While we had a break along the road, i noticed that Mete's little Sony camera which we used for quick shots was stolen from my tank bag's map pocket. At the gas stop in Tehran, it was immensly crowded. After filling my bike up i noticed that our coolant level was a tad low. So, left the bike unattended to get some antifreeze. When i returned, a homeless-looking guy was pointing to the tankbag and saying "mobile, mobile!". I didn't understand him so tried to get rid of him. He was trying to tell me that the mobile phone (camera) was stolen. Sustaining happiness from the found bag got us over the issue quickly.
The colors of the road signs are different in Iran than Turkey. Green means normal road, blue means toll road.
We stopped in a gas station on the highway. It wasn't so different from the ones in Europe. While waiting for our lunch, i was checking the bikes from the window. During a check, i saw a 1150 GS near our bikes.
At the same time the guy came in. I waved him to come near us. Aldo, was from Italy, travelling alone. After covering Turkey, his plan is to tour around Iran than return home. We ate together. After lunch while taking photos Aldo said he would like to join us for tonight.
We are always pleased to have a fellow rider with us. After a short while we arrived to Kashan a looked for a hotel. We decided on Ehsan Hotel, but it was full due to poem festival that night. A guy from the hotel hopped on my back and guided us to Noghli House.
The place was just fantastic. We were so lucky to find an authentic place like this. The owner Ekber, offered us sherbet (a sweet drink).
There were total of 4 rooms. The other 2 was occupied, and they left their backpacks in the rooms just closing the curtain.
The room was so simple and cute. There were mats, pillow, blankets and an air-conditioner. Not bad at all for 26 EUR/room for a night.
We started to walk to the traditional houses around. Children tried to open Mete's panniers, so Ekber opened his neighbour's closed garage and we parked the bikes there.
Streets of Kashan...
Little guys were yelling and running after us "peen pen!!".
Agha Ameri restorated the house in 18th century, when he thought his dad's house was not that big. Ameri was the major of Kashan, and became wealthy securing the trade roads from Kerman to Tehran. This was Iran' s biggest house in that period.
When we left Ameri's house it was getting dark.
These knockers have a story of course. Men use the stick-like one and women use the ring-like one. They have a different sound, so people in the house know the gender of their visitor. Women answer women and men answer men.
Aldo took some stuff from his room, than we went to listen the pom festival.
They greeted us and showed us place to sit.
This was a memorial to Sohrab Sepehri, who was one of the best modern poet of all in Iran. They talked about his work. Two college students translated some of the speech to us, After half an hour we were bored because of the language barrier and left.
Ekber's wife fixed us some local dish. Sef bademjan
was delicious. A true local food.
After dinner we met the other inhabitants of the Noghli House. 5 Chineese, 1 Belgiuqe and 1 New Zelander. A super relaxed environment. Chineese girls don't wear their scarf.
The chineese couple danced some salsa. It was extraordinary. Information was exghanged among us and it was time to sleep a great day off.