Kaleybar – Ahar

Left Kaleybar quite late (almost noon) and cycled southward. The ride was unspectacular, maybe except for the apple that was thrown at me.

Found the Iranian Red Crescent Station I was looking for two days ago – approx. 18km out of town.

Along the road (and probably further inland) there are many nomad tents pitched, and shepherds drive flocks of sheep across the hills.

The last 15km or so to Ahar where a relaxing downhill section. Ahar feels like a real city, the first real Iranian city I see (even though Astara, Germi, and Kaleybar come close as well).

Managed to change some money at a travel agency. The rate wasn’t very good, though.

There are many women on the street here (compared to e.g. Baku). All wear long-sleeved clothes. This, and covering the hair, is required by law. Most wear black chadors. Only hands and face are visible. Some even cover their mouth and chin, others wear gloves.

The people living in this northwestern region of Iran are called Azaris and are related to the people of Azerbaijan. Even though Farsi is the official language of all Iran, their mother tongue is Azari, a Turkic language closely related to Turkish and the Azeri of Azerbaijan. To add to the confusion, the Iranian provinces up here are called Eastern and Western Azerbaijan, respectively.

Cycled: 61km
Top speed: 72kph

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