Having taken a while to pack the bikes and taken a video of Helen in the Esfahan traffic we were only getting out at about 11.
A nice little man outside the hotel in Esfahan wanted us to take his photo but strangely never asked to see it. Seemingly happy enough to be recorded in a picture somewhere in the world he smiled and waved as he headed off again.
As we travelled, a guy at petrol station showed us some pics of his brothers wedding on a laptop. He offered to let us stay at his house but we pressed on. We regretted this later, he seemed like a nice guy and pictures of his house looked great. In the end we didn’t get much further anyway and we really should have accepted the invitation.
The lonely planet had 2 hotels in Naein but the cheap one was closed with no answer to the bell. The expensive one was nice with split level rooms but 50usd a night that we could not really afford. The bikes parked in courtyard though steep step was interesting to negotiate. Not wanting to press 200 miles into the desert on unknown road we opted to stay anyway.
at the local internet cafe i was intrigued to see the machines had autocad installed along with isis electronic design software. i wondered what the demand for it was although there does seem to be a lot of interest in it here. Perhaps its another useful skill people want to develop in search of a better life or something. Either way all the software seems to be unpaid copies since law enforcement on it is pretty much nil.
The next morning the hotel porter took glee in pointing to a water leak on my bike. It seemed to be from the pump but was small so we pressed on into the middle of the desert anyway, buttocks clenched all the way.
The desert was simple enough to ride with good road. We stopped for fuel when my tank was at 200 miles and lorry driver filled the tank and would not take any money. I have given up trying to work out fuel consumption in Iran because I never find out how many litres I have used here. the fuel smells different here and had a dark yellow colour. at a guess it is high sulphur and not messed around with by adding chemicals like at home. either way the bike seemed to run very well on it, perhaps smoother and more powerful than before.
We arrived to ateshooni in garmeh ok after asking people in village for directions. It was a nice traditional place big group just leaving so we had it almost to ourselves. The extended family arrived round and we sat and ate traditional food while one recited poetry. It felt a lot more authentic than most of the tourist things we had seen so far. one of the sons impressed us by playing clay vases (no really). It was impressive how many sounds he got out of them. It would have been even better had the German ganche with zero rhythm not decided to join in.
The next day we opted to ride the bikes out to the salt lake which was a little disappointing since it was patchy and small but we still had fun taking some photos at sunset. We also filmed the bikes doing flyby‘s at about 60 mph. We set up to do another higher speed one but then noticed the police car (who had taken an interest as they passed us) turning round up the road. I did not fancy explaining what we were doing out there so we split.
In the morning I looked at the bike again and disconnected the fuel pump so I could listen to the water pump. unfortunately I failed to reconnect it after and wondered why the bike would not start. After I realised then it would still not start and I began to worry. after running through the possibilities I diagnosed the battery was too low from all the starting to fire it. a set of jump-leads was produced and thankfully she fired up. I was reluctant to switch it off again for about 100 miles though.