November 28. Azar Shahr – 30km before Saveh [35°21´10.9”, 050°43´40.3”]

Km today:764

I wake up little late and when going to toilet I recognize today the water is not freezing but frozen cold. I am glad I have tissues… Suryananda starts after the usual coughers and we hit the road. Still we have no power and hardly go more than 70-80 km/h. I believe she is still cold so I go on but it´s not getting really better. The mechanic did his best and didn´t charge anything so it makes no sense going back. I stay on the road and decide to search for a Ford workshop in Teheran.

After 150km I stop at a teastall to have some chai and meet two policeofficers. We drink chai together and chat as much as possible (Where are you from, are you traveling alone…). After I take some pictures to show the world average policeman in Iran is much more friendly than police in the west. Actually all police until here refused to make any pictures of them. The Highway in Iran is amazing most of it being much better than Austrian highways. The policecontrols I expected every 50km simply do not exist in this part of Iran. Like in Europe they are standing next to the road every now and then but more busy drinking chai and washing car than controlling anybody. Toll stations are amazing too! People there are just very welcoming and when I reach the toll station in Zanjan the guy welcomes me to Zanjan, invites me to visit his city and invites me for the toll. I am little confused when to pay and when I have to show the ticket at the toll stations but soon I find out I am simply being invited nearly at every second toll station. All the other people pay every time…. Unbelievable!

As sunset is coming I leave the Highway and search for Internet in Zanjan. Little hard to find but people help me and soon I find a place where I can use my own computer and update the blog. Searching for a Ford workshop in Iran I find out Ford simply does not exist in Iran…. I spend more than an hour at Internet and go back to the car to find out I got a ticket for parking… I ignore it more or less putting it on the sit next to me and the officer who wrote the ticket helps me to get out of the parking place…. (crazy people here). For a moment I think about spending the night here but then decide to go on. Suryananda is very slow so I can only make miles by the time I drive and not by speed. If possible I´d like to reach Esfahan today which is about 700km to go. I could take a shortcut but its already late and I am concerned not to find anybody to ask for the way so I stay on the highway and take a little detour going via Teheran.

I make little stop to take food while driving and find out Austrian drinks possible in Iran! No Melange but Redbull! YEAH! Traffic in Teheran is simply crazy – even around midnight. I get lost and stop a car on the street to ask for the way. The guy speaks not one word English but he doesn´t give up until he believes I know the way. Within minutes I am back on the right way. I stop one more time directly on the highway just to make sure and immediately somebody stops to help me. I pass Teheran and little more than 100km after I get very tired. I find a petrol station and stop there to sleep at 2:30 in the morning. 764 km with a damaged engine – average speed around 65 and more than 20l petrol on 100km again.