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Old 11-17-2008, 05:38 PM   #16
Gultekin
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Devam devam.
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1. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
2. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
3. The Beneficent, the Merciful.
4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
5. Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
6. Keep us on the right path.
7. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:33 PM   #17
sideXside
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Subscribed!! Waiting to hear more.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:41 AM   #18
meto OP
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Location: Izmir, Turkey
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03 October, Friday
Tabriz – Kandovan – Tabriz (142 km)




We were lazy this morning and slept till 08.30. There was no riding today, just wandering in Tabriz. Shahryar Hotel's breakfast was delicious. Especially honey & cream.
We jumped into a taxi and told him to take us to the centre. We learned that there are a lot of centres in Tabriz and after a while he just dropped us somewhere. When we asked a teenager where to go, he invited us to their car. Bryan Adams was playing on the tape. I don't understand Farsi but i guess his father told him "What the fuck is this, change this crap" and suddenly an islamic tune started.
First thing we want to see was Arg-e Tabriz. A citadel from 14th century which was used to hang criminals. Of course it was in restoration. Like this is not enough, we learned that some other attractions on our list were in restoration too. Also because it's friday, everwhere was closed. Friday is sunday to them. We figured out that there's no point hanging out in Tabriz and decided to go to Kandovan.
We got back to the hotel and prepared. It was already 12:00 and we don't want to be late. Finding the Kandovan road was difficult, so complicated but the road was very good.

Kandovan is a mountain village at 2200 metres. It's highlight is the troglodyte homes, a reminiscent of Cappadocia (Turkey) but a very small replica of course.





We started to climb like goats.



The place had become a touristy attraction. It was a little crowded because it was friday. Azeri Turks live in these ice cream cone-shaped houses regardless of the curious mass.





After conquering the narrow and steep streets i was exhausted and want to continue in plain grounds across the -once- river.



Locals set up a small bazaar selling chestnuts, almonds, dryed apricots and grapes.



We were hungry but couldn't find good food in Kandovan. After chatting with a lot of people (because again we were the centre of attention) and taking a last photo of Kandovan, we were on our way back to Tabriz.



Wandering around Tabriz, i saw a burger shop and we stopped for lunch. We chatted with the two kids inside. They were constantly peeking on our bikes. I said "Come on jump on". You should see the joy and excitement on their eyes.



We hung out in the lobby a while. I kept my journals.



It seems like our hotel is a little modern. There was a thing in the ballroom and men were wearing ties in their suits. Wearing a tie is forbidden in Iran. The ladies were very elegant too.

Our hotel



Following the tips on Lonely Planet guide we went to Karim Khan square. The taxi driver was complaining about the gas quotas.
The square was insanely crowded.





It was packed with cars and people. Seems like this is the place where girls and boys checks out each other. Girls are 18 - 20 years old max. with tight jeans, converse snickers, head scarfs that will fall if you blow a little and the nose jobs. All the girls are crazy about nose job. We ate at Fanoos Pizza with Coca Cola.



Ta'arof

This is a thing that you will recognize at the end of your first taxi trip when the driver says "kabili yohtur" means "no, i can't accept money". The funny thing is the driver still expects to get paid. This is Ta'arof, a system of politeness among eveybody which can be confusing for foreigners at first. The solution is to insist on paying three times. By this time if he's still rejecting money, you can accept it. This is not all about money. A dinner invitation or a stay at a strangers house. They always want to give. But first you should reject in order to give them the chance to back out. If they're insisting, accept.

On our way back to the hotel i decided to test the system. The taxi ride costs 3000 toman approx. When we got to the hotel i asked the price and the driver said "Whatever you give ?" I gave 2500 toman and he replied "ooh this is not enough, give 500 toman more" So, he understood that i'm a foreigner and we laughed it away.

This is the room.



While searching for water in the minibar we found these but our joy and shock lasted till we read the writings.

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Old 11-18-2008, 01:38 AM   #19
WIBO
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OK...I`m in too.....

Excellent report so far.....


More please!!


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The Suit: Honesty? I don't think honesty could be construed as a weakness.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:41 AM   #20
Damir
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Fantastic ride and report!
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:55 AM   #21
meto OP
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Location: Izmir, Turkey
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04 October, Saturday
Tabriz – Ahar – Ardabil – Khal Khal – Masuleh (478 km)




My alarm went off at 05:00 in the morning. After riding in the dark to Tabriz, we agreed on waking up as early as we can to finish the ride in daylight. The guy at the reception told us last night that they can serve early breakfast for us but all we could find in the morning was a jug of water. We dranked 1 glass each and hit the road.
The family we asked directions to.



We found the Ardabil road easily. The weather got cold suddenly with threatning clouds. Lucklily, there wasn't a single drop of rain. If we had started our trip 3 days earlier, in would have been a another story. We entered Ardabil with a really bad traffic. There were policemen on every rounabout but they don't solve anything. We hardly found a place to eat. Mc Donald's in Iran.



Never ending curiousity... These guys also told that the road to Masuleh was seriously deteriorated due to heavy rains.



We filled up in Ardabil.



The conditions of the gas stations are really bad.



Also in this gas station they told that the road is completely blocked because of the rain. We agreed to take a chance.
Just before reaching Khal Khal we spent 20 minutes in a police checkpiont. Very funny conversation took place here.
Khal Khal road is fantastic. Asphalt quality is superb.





We started to gain altitude slowly while the scenery got better and better.



The map didn't lie and 60 km left to Masuleh, we found the hard pack gravel.









The clouds we admired looking, struck us badly when we entered in them. We were immidiately wet and the road turned into mud. It's unnecessary to say how front Scorps don't like mud. A wrong selection of line and i was down.



Riding with wild horses takes all the negativity away.



After playing in the mud a bit, we arrived to the wonderful Masuleh. We parked the bikes to find our hotel.



This is the last spot bikes can enter. All transportation is on foot in the village. Fortunatley, Hotel Mehran was very close to our bikes.
Masuleh scenery from our hotel.



18 EUR for a triple room, not bad. It was a relief after the hotel in Tabriz. It was about to get dark, so we got out very quickly.



We found the Moallem Restaurant and tried mirza ghazemi which is an eggplant dish special to the Gilan Province.
After conquering the silent streets of Masuleh and puffing on qalyan we threw our tired bodies to the bed.



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Old 11-18-2008, 06:05 AM   #22
ronsolo
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Fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to share your journey.

Of course, nice bikes too.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:03 AM   #23
K_N_Fodder
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Awesome. Amazing that the scenery you passed through in Turkey could be Wyoming in the states. All except for Mt. Ararat . The picture before your crash picture is front page material. The crash picture... good thing you didn't go much further off the right side! Looks like only fog and clouds that way...
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:18 AM   #24
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:36 PM   #25
Frgich
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Nice ride you had there, and the pics of course not bad at all . Keep uploading them please , and great write up also
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:54 PM   #26
the venturer
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Subscribed.Well done you two.Thx for sharing with us.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:08 PM   #27
Viking
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Great trip,
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:28 PM   #28
dr.vedat
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harika bir serüven.sabırsızlıkla yeni hikayelerinizi ve resimlerinizi bekliyorum

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Old 11-18-2008, 11:05 PM   #29
easyman05
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great report, amazing pix! tnx a lot for sharing!
what was the price your paid for the modern hotel in Tabriz? What's an average cost of overnighting? of food - meal in a restaurant?
bike security - did you leave them out for the night?
TIA
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:32 PM   #30
meto OP
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We paid 100 EUR each for two nights. 50 EUR/night/person is low for a hotel like that but it was too much, if you're in for 15 days.
25 EUR/day will be midclass. You can go below and above according to preferences.
Parking is no issue. There's always somwhere protected. But we left the on a street for three nights. Locked them up, and there was no issues.
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