DAY NINE… 44 miles (70 km)

Awoke to find ourselves in the heart of the mountains. Mrs. Reza was busy preparing breakfast for us; lemon and honey tea, but where was the caffeine?? Followed by copious amounts of jam (all home-made) and her own home cooked bread. Mr. Reza gave us pieces of cut comb from his bees. All very lovely. Just as we finished breakfast the police arrived at the door, having spotted Tim outside, taking luggage to our van. It’s the first time things felt a little twitchy, but all was OK, our passports and visas were checked and approved and we were able to set off.

We started off in the van back to Semiron.  At the top of the pass we got out only to be met by an absolute gale. We were then cycling into another 30mph headwind for much of the morning, through amazing mountain scenery, but very difficult.

Riding into the Zargos Mountains
Long descent. Speeding Ali, just a dot in the distance.
The first winter snows on the peaks

Rain hit late morning /early afternoon and we all got wet and cold. We had covered 32 miles by lunch time and after some soup with bits of meat floating in it (we were told that it was veggie), we set off again, still damp, through rain on a long downhill ride through 10 rather scary tunnels.  There were trucks whizzing by, but the tunnels were very warm and dry, although the amplified loud echoing rumbles of tyres & diesel engines in the tunnels were rather disconcerting.  We rode till we reached the bottom of the descent, thoroughly chilled by now.

Cold and wet and lost in mists of the cloud cloaked mountain pass

Our modern hotel in Yasuj looked promising, yet almost devoid of guests and with the huge disappointment of no hot water in the showers.