Qarah Aghej – Kaleybar

Before they let me go, the guys at the Red Crescent station insisted on cooking breakfast for me, gave me some canned supplies, and then showed me to the junction where I had to leave the main road (some 5km down the road).

From there it was 35km to Abash Ahmed, and 100km to Kaleybar, today’s destination.

A couple of kilometers before Abash Ahmed an older gentleman pulled me up a couple of steep hills with his car and got me some cold water in a small village at a friend’s place.

Later, when I arrived in Abash Ahmed, a guy was waiting for me at the edge of the town and escorted me on his motorcycle to the shop of the man who’d pulled me up those hills earlier. He’s a jewellery dealer, and he and a few friends fed me with cold drinks, bread, fries, salad, kebap, and – mayonnaise! How awesome was that?! (The mayonnaise, I mean.) They also offered me a place to stay but I wanted to make it to Kaleybar today.

35km from Kaleybar I had used up all my energy for the day – the road zigzagged its way up and down so many hills… – and I hitched a ride on an old truck. We arrived in Kaleybar after nightfall.

The Red Crescent people in Qarah Aghej had told me to head to the Red Crescent station in Kaleybar for a place to sleep. So I asked around for directions. Information varied and the whole thing snowballed so that I was brought to various places and people, including the police, an IT shop, and a tourist guide/translator/taxi driver who spoke excellent English but didn’t even know what the Red Crescent was – to no avail.

I’m staying in a cheapish hotel now.

Cycled: 72km
Hitched: 35km
Top speed: 69kph

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