Next up was Gilan province.I got to know about this place during my stay in 7 hostels in Tehran.It’s always good to seek some recommendations from the locals apart from your own planning.From Qazvin,i rode to Rasht.I stayed in Masal for the night,it’s a small town with few stay options but pleasant weather.I had to talk about weather every time as south Iran was so uncool and unreasonably hot to me.There are some very nice trails in this region,will keep you busy for a day or two at least.
Northern Iran is filled with greenery all around,one common thing you will notice around the road is rice fields.One of the local told me that,”India buys a lot of fuel from Iran and in return India sends lot of rice as a payback,hence we have gotten pretty serious about growing our own rice as we need dollars not rice” 🙂
As i left Masal next day,i was welcomed with rains and dark clouds.
A family stopped and approached me to strike conversation,however we fail to understand each other because they did not speak English and i knew very limited words in Parsi.We had a group picture and a brief goodbye.
As i moved up towards Olazebelanga,weather became clear and i could see the notorious clouds from the top.
Somewhere before Khalkhal,made new friends 🙂
I took the Masal-Gilavan-Khalkhal route and headed to Tabriz to wrap up my time in Iran.Plan was to enter turkey through Bazargan-Gurbulak border.
I reached Bazargan and took refugee in a prayer room of a restaurant where i had dinner.Little did i knew that my plan to enter turkey is going to fail tomorrow.As i reach the border i could see a long queue of trucks stretching for miles.This was first international border crossing for me,so i thought this would be normal.But when i arrived at the crossing point on Iran side,i came to know that the border is closed due to the military coup in turkey.Damn that 15th of july of 2016,now i was left with one option only.That is to cross armenia,then to georgia and take a boat from Poti to Varna,Bulgaria.So i left from Bazargan and headed to Nordooz border.I did not had a visa for Armenia,but their embassy website mentioned that they provide transit visa for 2 days to most of the nationalities.Crossing to Georgia from Armenia was straight forwards as you can go to georgia if you have a valid schengen visa.
I arrived at Nordooz,completed exit formalities on iran side,exit stamp on passport,exit stamp on carnet gates closed on the iran side and as i cross the bridge and reached on Armenia side i was greeted with disappointment that transit visa is not provided for Indian passport holders.I tried for half an hour to persuade various officers around the entry point but i failed miserably.That was quite a scary moment for me,as my visa for iran was single entry.I cannot go back and i cannot go forward.For a moment i thought,my trip is finished here.Officers from armenia asked me to leave back on Iran side,so i did returned and the border officials on Iran side helped me to return back to Iran by cancelling the exit stamp.
Now,i wasn’t sure how long this coup is going to last.I decided to return to Tehran and get a visa for Armenia.I returned back to Tabriz and stayed there for the night.Next day when i was on my way to Tehran,i was continuously checking the news and updates about military coup.I was continuously wishing about coup being finished soon and it did happened when i started receiving several messages from friends back home.I immediately took a U turn and rode all day and night and reached the same restaurant during midnight to rest until morning.