After being stopped prematurely by strong head wind yesterday, we decided to leave at 7:00 today because the strong wind is known to set in at around noon and we wanted to cycle at least 100 km today in order to reach Isfahan the day after. But because we slept at a local family, we only managed to hit the road shortly before 8.
Rain, wind, and trucks
During the first 40 km we were still in a high plateau at around 2000m. So the morning was quite chilly, and as if this were not enough, rain and wind made our start more unpleasant. Only after leaving the high plateau, the conditions got better – at least until lunch break.
And apart from the weather, we were passed in the high plateau by big empty trucks in about a one minute interval, giving us a shower from the wet road every time. We were both wondering, why there are so many trucks on the way. We knew though, that today is the first day after Iran’s New Year holidays, but the road is very remote and yesterday no trucks were in sight.
We found the answer to our question after 35 km. There is a quarry where the trucks get loaded with black stones. 2-3 km before this quarry the trucks were starting to queue up along the road. There were at least 100 trucks that we passed. Many of those trucks probably passed us an hour earlier.
Until the quarry the road was paved and as usual in Iran in very good condition. After that, the road turned into dirt road, and because there was rain overnight, it also had some muddy parts which was difficult to cycle. After a few km however the road got dry and because we were going downhill, it became a pleasure to bike on the dirt road.
Until the lunch break at around 13:00 the wind was fine and we only had some moderate side wind. After lunch however, the wind turned into a storm. I did not measure the wind speeds, but judging from my experience from paragliding, some gusts probably reached 100 km/h. And because the wind came from the front, we could only progress with 10 km/h. After two hours we were both exhausted from the fight against the wind and full of sand.
On the way to Yazd a few days ago we had lots of tail wind and back then I assumed that when going back towards west, we will face this wind again. Unfortunately I was right. It seems that the wind always comes from W during the day. This time to our disadvantage.
Camping in some clay ruins
At 95 km we found some ruins next to the road which gave us shelter from the storm. Even at 19:00 the wind was still very strong, so we decided to stay the night in these ruins.
Today was definitely the toughest day so far on my bike tour. Very repetitive landscapes, wind, rain, little progress are really hard on the mental fitness. Especially when you see a 50km road ahead in the desert and you barely make progress. Tomorrow might be another such day, let’s hope we reach Isfahan before the afternoon storms hits us again.
Max elevation: 2096 m
Min elevation: 1513 m
Total climbing: 1125 m
Total descent: -1584 m
Total time: 08:54:13