Sunday, May 14, 2006

Near Kharanaq

I'd had enough of Yazd, being in a city & sleeping in a building. Even so I lingered to fill myself up at the generous breakfast buffet & chat with fellow guests. At around 10am I set off, picking up supplies along the way & stopping for cold water whenever the opportunity appeared.

Once beyond Yazd city the desert began. It was distinct from that which I'd crossed when coming from Esfahan. This one was sandy. I expectation any moment a camel to appear, but none did. The road was flat & there was no shade. My watch measured the temperature at 39° for most of the afternoon, though later when I found shelter for a break at 3:30 it read a cool 36°. I surprised myself in finding this quite easy to bear. Wandering around the hot streets of Yazd must have acclimatised me.

I passed a serious car accident. It happened only a couple of hundred meters ahead. I saw the cloud of sand as the car left the road & ploughed into a bank of sand. The car was toast. The driver was in a bad shape, somehow he'd become wedged under the collapsed roof in the rear & half out the rear window which had popped out. He was moaning but hardly moving. The passenger was cradling him. I suspect that the latter had tried to move him out of the car that way & got stuck. I sure hope he didn't damage his spine. I helped a truck driver who arrived on the scene before me to pull up the crushed car roof to relieve any pressure on his body. Fortunately those who arrived on the scene had the sense to not try & moved him any further. I soon continued on. I didn't think that I could contribute anything & the scene was pretty distressing.

After getting the accident out of my head I stopped by a bridge & ate a watermelon that I got in Yazd. While eating it a car stopped & a man got out to investigate my bike, I was out of sight in the shade under the bridge. I talked to the guy for a while. It was an interesting conversation. He was an Iranian, spoke English fairly well & liked to do so. He was clearly a deeply religious person & spoke unprompted & at length about his faith, Islam, & its origins. I'd not met someone so open to talk about faith so I listened to him (he did all the talking) for quite some time. In the end I had to excuse myself as I was beginning to run out of time to reach the next town, Kharanaq. After I continued he passed me & stopped, then gave me a small book in Persian, saying that his 'angel' had told him to do so. At which point he turned the car around & went back the way he had come as if he had come to deliver a message & was going back home having completed the job.

Soon I realised that there was no way of reaching Kharanaq by sundown. I didn't have enough water to camp. I was weighing up flagging down a passing car or truck when I spotted a cluster of trees a kilometre or so off the road. This could only mean a spring or reservoir as the land was otherwise totally dry. Sure enough when I approached the trees I found an organised plantation around a spring. A farmer confirmed that the water was good to drink. I setup camp amongst the trees as the Sun went down.

I cycled 71 km in 4 hours & 23 minutes
Total so far 4655 km in 66 days
GPS Coordinates of end point - N 32°18.001, E 54°31.380

No comments:

Post a Comment