Packing everything into two boxes
All the equipment that I have collected piece by piece in the past weeks had to fit in two cardboard boxes. To be honest, until yesterday, it was not completely clear yet what I will bring along on my trip. I wanted to bring along my paraglider for some flights in the Pamir later on, but when packing, I realized that it would take up too much space and I rather leave some room for food and water in the bags than filling it with a glider that I might use only a few times in the next three months, or not at all.
The result of all the packing was satisfying. I could fit everything I need into the two boxes which weighed in the end 32kg (bike box) and 27 kg (all the rest) which was perfectly within the allowance of the airline. And I took one of the front panniers and my photo bag that I bought 2 hours before leaving as hand luggage.
Getting to the airport
There was no way the bike box would fit in my small Mazda 3, so I either had the choice to call a taxi or to go with public transportation. I chose the latter option because it is not unlikely that the bike box would also not fit into the taxi. Luckily I only live 5 km from the airport and I have a bus stop right next to my apartment building. With the kind help of Ilinca we managed to carry everything to the airport.
Check-In refused due to no return flight
Two hours before departure I arrived at the check-in with plenty of time for everything – that’s what I thought. The first surprise came quickly. The lady at the check-in asked me if I did not have a return flight, which I did not because I do not know yet where my adventure is going to end. This was a serious problem because Qatar Airways does not transport passengers to Iran without a return flight. The lady at the counter suggested to buy a cheap flight out of Iran with a low-cost carrier, which is what I did in the end for $70. The interesting point of the story is that it said nowhere during the booking process that one-way flights to Iran are not allowed and that the lady at the counter actually helped me circumvent this restriction, even by redirecting me to competitors. In the end I was happy to pay the $70 and I am now on the plane towards Doha, where I will have a 55 min layover and then continue to Shiraz.