We woke up and said goodbye to our impromptu host and rode back in through town. We stopped to grab some breakfast and by the time we were leaving a small group of men had assembled to say hello and to see us off.
We were still down at just about sea level and today would be climbing gradually until we reached 900m. Actually we would be climbing all day tomorrow too pretty much, judging by the profile from Topoprofile of our route.
The land though was more rolling hills and green then the flat brown of the days before. We passed through small villages very occasionally and for the most part the road ran through isolated countryside.
Then hills gradually spread out and got larger, less steep and rolling and more undulating as we got up away from the lowlands and into the plateau. We were feeling quite hungry and taking a break at the bottom of another climb when a man stopped, got out of his car, talked for a while and handed over some apples. Very friendly indeed these Iranians.
With apple in belly we made the last climb up into the town Germi, a climb that lasted a lot longer than we expected and we were both wrecked by the time we got there, having not had any real lunch and it now being three o’clock. We were up around snow now and pulled up to the first market we saw to get something in the stomachs.
Proceeding through Germi we found it was a lot bigger than we anticipated. It was built along the slopes of three or four different hills or mountains, so it was hard to see the whole place at one. We passed a kebab place that looked good so we pulled in there to eat a proper lunch.
It was a small place and while we were standing around trying to order the son of the owner, a kid about 11 years old came up and in almost perfect English asked what we wanted. He then talked to us for a while and translated the questions of the owner and his older brother. His father asked if we wanted to know some place so stay in town, and though we normally don’t spring for hotels we were both dog tired, Finn under the weather the last couple of days so we went for it this time.
Nima (the name of the boy) then offered to show us around town. We walked with him to the big mosque in the center of town, picking up a few of his friends along the way, Nima telling us this or that about his town, us telling him some things about Ireland.
He then took us to the hotel, more of a guesthouse really. One of his friends piped up as we arrived ‘this is your hotel. Zero stars’. Which we both thought was pretty funny, especially since the kid hadn’t said much else all afternoon. Nima helped us talk to the manager, an ancient Iranian man who had not a lick of English but we soon got sorted.
We then took a short taxi ride with Nima back to his families kebab place and said goodbye to his father and older brother, his father clearly very proud of his son and rightly so. Rode back up hill to the hotel and garnered a small audience as we unloaded our bikes. Someone would ask us where we our and then you could make out the answer ‘Irland’ rippling back through the crowd.
We got into the room and collapsed, suddenly quite exhausted. We ventured out briefly in the evening to grab some food but we were more than content to just lay on the beds all evening.