So we had to make it to Kerman as quickly as possible because the validity of our Pakistan visa was running out. The last day the visa would be valid for entry was the 4th of February. Once we got to Zahedan we should be ok because we could get to the border in a couple of bourse on a bus.
But we were still hundreds of kilometres from Zahaden and so were going to take a bus from Kerman to Zahedan too. We weren’t running out of time running out of time at an alarming rate, but we had to be aware of it.
Not much to say about the cycling today, Infact I don’t think I took a photo most of the day.
But something interesting did happen today. At lunch in a town called Ahmad Abad we met another cyclist! It was an older French guy coming the opposite direction. He had been riding for a couple of months around the Arabian peninsula and had just gone over the Persian gulf into Iran a couple of weeks ago. We joined him on his side of the road for lunch, sharing stories and talking about bike touring, it was great it had been ages since we had met a cyclists.
When we got back to the bikes though, something was wrong. Finns very powerful and pretty valuable front lights had been snapped off and stolen. What to do? Well it was a small enough town so we figured someone knew where it was and could get it back, it was just a question of who and how.
There was a police station 100 m down the road, Finn went over to tell them. Well, they were pretty useless in the end. After been dragged back to the bike, and the dragged to where the bike had been and shown the people who had seen it and told to ask them where it was (by Finn, through gestures) nothing was accomplished.
Meanwhile, all this ruckus had drawn a crowd. Shortly after Finn came back with the police a very out of place white SUV pulled up to the kerb where we were standing and four guys that were all too well dressed in this town got out and tried to ask us some questions, but they didn’t speak any English. What we could tell was that these were the guys who could actually do something, not the useless policeman.
Eventually one of the SUV guys got out a phone and called someone who spoke English and I tired to explain the problem, that my friends light was taken, that he wanted it back etc. after a couple of tries they got it and telling us to wait there piled into the SUV and sped off.
Almost as soon as they left the town English teacher showed up to interpret what was going on and by now a sizeable crowd had gathered. We moved from the side of the road to the police station where the was a parking area with more space.
We hung around for about 20 minutes and then the white SUV came back with another car following it. One of the well dressed guys got and, lo and behold, held up Finns light.
‘Who are those guys?’ We asked our interpreter.
‘Oh, they are the secret police.’
I’m not entirely sure what secret police means, if it’s KGB or Mafia but either way they got the light back. Some kid had pulled it off, as we had guessed and they had bought him and his dad in. They asked if we wanted compensation. Of course not, we were just happy to have the light.
A friend of the interpreter fixed the wiring of light back to the Dynamo and an hour later we were away. Ali (the interpreter) gave us two big bags of pistachios (the local crop) and implored us not to think poorly of their town because of this. He translated messages from many of the onlookers to this effect and we told them all that of course we don’t. They seemed happy to hear it.
So after all that it was getting late and would be dark within the hour. We cycled to within 10km of Rafsanjan and pulled off into the pistachio fields to camp in another dried up pond.