Day 27 Rasht to Tabriz

We began the day by the Caspian Sea but before I get to that I have to report that Tim Scott and his 1922 F N Motorcycle have arrived in Rasht. This man has ridden, trucked and probably carried this cycle from Beijing overcoming one problem after another – he is a very determined gentleman. Tim is being interviewed before breakfast and will be underway shortly.


Yesterday rained and this morning started out no better – the wind had the Caspian quite excited – those are real waves out there. Check your maps, this is a major body of water.


Our route today takes us through the mountains but en route we had to pass through several small villages, each with a series of small shops lining the sidewalk.


The trip up was through areas of green lush forestation – almost jungle like.

On our assent through the mountains the view was obscured by fog and rain – we could only imagine how spectacular the view must be on a clear day.

Even the driving wasn’t easy either – a combination of a steep ascent and the fog. The car in front was from the Automobile Federation of Iran – they were just making sure everything was ok. We were originally scheduled to run time trials over this road but they were canceled based on the concern for everyone’s safety – good decision.


Like everywhere else on our trip we passed a number of small stands selling refreshments to travelers passing through the mountains.


We traveled from sea level to the top of ascent at 2368 meters (7700 feet) in a relatively short time – it was a very steep climb. I felt for the older cars with small and less powerful engines – it was real slow work for them. Unfortunately, by the time we reached the top of our ascent (the mountain peaks continue on for many more thousands of feet), the clouds and fog obscured everything.

Once we crested and started to descend, everything cleared almost immediately as we were now on the leeward side of the prevailing winds coming off the Caspian Sea. The landscape can only be described as spectacular.


Our trip down was through a much more arid landscape – all the rain dumps on the windward side toward the sea. The views were spectacular to say the least.

Little groups of dwelling would appear out in the middle of nowhere – many appear to be constructed simply of mud.


Again in the middle of nowhere, small groups of houses formed small villages – quite isolated from the rest of the world – life there must be very different from what most of us are accustomed to. I bet they have a lot less stress in their existence.


We came around a corner and this just appeared before our eyes – what an incredible landscape …

Passing through on of the larger villages, this what we discovered at the top of a hill – now we know what folks here do at night – must be quite a view from the top.

I never know what to make of this grouping of buildings – they all appear to be vacant or perhaps never occupied. It’s like construction just stopped back in the mid 70’s. Surprisingly, we saw quite a bit of evidence of these unfinished buildings all along the Caspian coast. What a shame as the area has much natural beauty simply waiting to be completed and developed.


And of course the people were all out taking pictures and waving – I think these guys were in the middle of something else when we went by. I can’t say enough about how nice the people here have been to us – it’s been great.

Then there are the blue trucks – literally millions of them – all blue. Perhaps they took a page from Henry Ford who told people they could have any color Ford they wanted as long as it was black. I’m sure to avoid patent infringement problems, the folks here simple adopted the principal in blue. They haul everything in these trucks – I’ll have to find out more.


Now for one closing picture – the lime and orange here were handed to us through the window of the car while en route by people on motorcycles and cars as a token of friendship and welcoming – how lucky are we.

Tomorrow we have yet another border crossing and 600 kilometers to drive – can’t wait. Of course, we will then be in Turkey where out Turkish friends ensure us the beer will be very cold – we’ll see.


A last bit of good news, our good friend Garrick Staples driving the # 106 VW has caught up us here in Tabriz. He has posted a fascinating tale of the help he received in getting the car repaired which you can read at

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6 Responses to Day 27 Rasht to Tabriz

  1. Shannon Downey says:

    I just started following and can only view a few posts. Looks like it’s been amazing so far. Experience of a lifetime I’d say.

    Love the friendship gestures. Way cool.


  2. Good post Chuck, we are sending out an MMR Newsletter today and reminding people not to forget you two. After all, you have been gone such a long time that your wife and kids sold the cars.

  3. Lisa Tucker says:

    Beautiful lime. Beautiful orange.

  4. Cheryl kottke says:

    Thanks Chuck for all you’re posts. You are doing a subperb job. It is like we are all
    Traveling with you, but without the stress. Be safe, but have fun. I would like to meet
    Lloyd when you all return.
    Be well.

  5. Rob De Vries says:

    Great to see the lime. That is a very comforting smell that complements a garland fr0m my chidhood.

  6. john oates says:

    Really enjoying reading your posts from London – gives me and idea of how my sister and her husband are getting on – they’re in car 46.
    enjoy the rest of the trip – see you in Paris

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