Took me a while to pack my stuff this morning, so I left only at 11am.
Just outside Tabriz I met Bhrooz on his road bike. The winds were good and I managed to keep up with him for the next 40 kilometers. Or rather, he had pitty with me.
After exactly 50km he stopped to turn around and return to Tabriz. We exchanged phone numbers and he bluetooth’ed me a photo to my phone. It shows him on a pro racing bike, and he said that it was taken in Japan. I didn’t find out more due to the language barrier.
He wished me “good luck” and was gone. When I wanted to go on I noticed that my rear tyre was flat. The first puncture in a looong time (and the first on this trip). Fortunately I’m carrying a spare inner tube.
Later I came to Lake Orumiyeh, a huge salt lake. It is so salty that it is possible to float on it like on the Dead Sea. It is roughly shaped like an 8 figure. At it’s narrowest point it is still about 15 kilometers wide. Two causeways and a half-finished bridge connect the two sides.
From Lake Orumiyeh to the city of Orumiyeh the road is heavily policed. Both the Turkish and Iraqi border are not far (40 and 55km, respectively). I’m still in the West Azerbaijan province, but the Kordestan province and the Kurdish homelands are not far either. Both the PKK and the PJAK operate in the border areas, respectively attacking Turkish and Iranian military and governmental officials/infrastructure.
Managed to find wireless Internet in Orumiyeh. Apparently Turkey is fighting the PKK again – in northern Iraq. I had planned to go to Turkey through Iraq. Also in older news, Iran is shelling Kurdish (I’m not sure if it’s due to PKK or what) villages in the Iranian/Iraqi border region around the border crossing I plan to use.
Wrong time, wrong place, once again, it seems.