Turkey wasn’t that bad so why was everyone punching five shades of balclava out of each other to leave.

The people in queue (I use term VERY looslely) were pushing like there was a sale on bums and they had two for one vouchers.

After barely surviving Turkish passport control (the stitchers come out in six weeks), the 50m walk to Iran Passport Control was like walking from the pits of hell into a day spa.

Air conditioned. Polite, orderly, friendly and amazingly helpful staff. Charmed already and I’ve only moved 150 feet.

Our fixer (Barry the Briber) got us all sorted and on the road in a quick four hours. Apart from Tony… who almost moved in when they stuffed up his Visa. More leg room for us!

We changed some money and with an exchange rate of €1 to 132,000 Rials, we walked in as Rallyers and walked out as multi millionaires. We filled our car for €3.20 …from empty! And hit the road.

Our guide said he would see us in Tabriz. So much for big brother watching our every move. He obviously had better things to do…or knew how bat shit mental Iranian drivers are!!

Google Maps said it was three hours. Google maps left out it was three hours of the scariest white knuckled, yelp enducing, tourettes causing, pants smearing dodge ’em driving I have ever experienced.

Hidden speed humps reach up to rip out your axle, your spleen and your Soul. Pot holes behave like land mines, trying to remove one whole wheel at a time.

Iranian drivers are the worst, enjoying a perverse game of driving Russian Roulette. They overtake. On BLIND corners. THREE abreast. And…. THEY DONT PULL IN…even when TRUCKS come the other way!! And smile doing it!!

I’ve bought a box of man nappies for tomorrows drive to Tehran because a little wee came out today. More than once.

Traffic is officially the biggest killer in Iran. Nahhhhh….? Really?!

All this is worth it because the scenery is National Geogrpahic beautiful. Green fields of crops and yellow seas of bright sun flowers reach out to stunning red and gold mountain ranges that look more like Mars than Earth. Sorry. Got all David Attenborough/Dulux Paint there but bloody hell it’s pretty.

The people here are some of the most inviting and hospitable hosts I have ever met. Helpful to the point you want to punch them.

So friendly that you find your self saying things like ” sure, stay at my place next time and bring all the family….even Uncle Mustafa”.

And so generous that I once had to say “no, thank you, he is very helpful but my wife already has a husband of her own, you keep yours”

We are off to the Tabriz Grand Bazaar tonight to some enjoy Iranian delights and share a couple of Hukas..that sounded so different in my head….

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