Heading further South in Iran

We started early in Quom just as we wanted to leave and as we knew we had to cover some distance. Driving out of the city and on to the highway direction South. Another advantage of starting early – it won’t be so hot so quickly. So we drove, the landscape got more deserted and dry, the heat increased. It was just straight forward, only thing kept us entertained were the many old Mercedes trucks in colourful appearance and the crazy driving, honking and thumbs up from the Iranians passing by or standing at the side of the road.

We were heading to a lake to relax outside and enjoy nature after our hotel night due to given – police – circumstances from the day before.

Our lunch break in the outskirts of Isfahan surprised us with excellent tasty kebab, fresh bread and for the first time in Iran real coffee.

We finalised the plan pinpointing a lake around Zayanderud dam. It is a holiday location for the city people of Isfahan and we were told that overnight camping is not possible in this protected and secured area… what a bummer. After our experience with these areas from the day before we weren’t 100% confident for the wild camping however drove around to find a spot and chatted with a few people and finally a younger guy assured us there are nice spots a bit up North at he lake. As he couldn’t explain the directions he told us to follow him, he will show us the spot. So glad we did… it was an incredible spot to set up camp!

The young guy even returned 2 hours later to check if everything was fine and we are good. What an effort and again showed the caring Iranian nature.

We enjoyed a good night of sleep, had a good breakfast with scrambled eggs, coffee, lavash and salad. Good start for the next stop down south. Again we were prepared to just cover distance and figured to go again to find a nice location for camping at a river between the mountains hoping for some water to get a dip and refresh.

Driving, driving, driving. Not much around, a few stops, a dip in a river under a bridge was the highlight – so refreshing!

Some smaller mountains finally appeared after all this paved straight highways and we arrived late afternoon around city of Fars. A smaller typical highway city:

We passed through to check the river bank and saw a few people at the river. As we didn’t eat yet and this smaller village didn’t have a shop or restaurant we went back to 20 minute again Fars city and had a very tasty dinner again, typically served on the ground.

Getting back to the river for spotting for a place to put up camp a car pulled up next to us and the usual chatting started. As we were talking one guy advised us to head up the river for a much nicer place to camp. We followed his advise and found again a fantastic quite option with the possibility to go for a swim. Only downside – mosquitos. Didn’t matter as some very kind and funny fisherman showed up, gave us some chai and lit up a bonfire. Nice atmosphere!

The next day it was time to say good bye to Beate and Pawel….

Lithuania

June 1st – 5th

From Danzig we drove through the beautiful landscape of Mazury. Little valleys, lakes everywhere and the sun shining all day long. After a quick stop for another face off with the cruelty of Nazi Deutschland at the Wolfsschanze we stayed for one night at the Wydminy lake in our tent.

The day after the streets took us along the Russian border to Kaliningrad into Lithuania, the 4th country during the trip. We followed our plan to visit Trakai, a picturesque town and capital of the medieval Lithuania. The most visited Lithuanian landmark is the well preserved and impressive watercastle at the Galve lake 20km southwest of Vilnius.

Heading for Vilnius, we took the direct route via the highway, the first time on our trip we chose this fast but boring way of driving. We covered approx 350km in 5 hours. Inbetween we spontaneously detoured to Kaunas central, the 2nd biggest city in Lithuania and had lunch at the surprisingly charming riverside, close to the castle.

After drifting through the awesome bends around the lakes in Trakai for a while, we stayed at a residence. Pretty fancy for a campground. Wi-Fi covering the entire area allowed us to watch the friendly Germany vs Austria via live stream.

The German invasion of camper vans here for sure had satellite TV, but this is not the company we prefer on our tour distancing Germany a little bit more every day.

Sunday was another „holiday“! History session at Trakai castle and cuisine lesson in one of the traditional small townhouses with late breakfast. Kibanai, little baked dumplings with diverse sweet and hearty fillings really blown us away. Our belly worked on these Kibanai while we rested at the beach of one of the numerous lakes around. We met Saulius, who listened to us speaking German and initiated the conversation. He’s a former professionell basketball coach, who was happy to practice some German again! Super friendly and inspiring. It was very cool to meeting you Saulius!

Later that day we literally flew the remaining kilometers to Vilnius where we stayed in a nice apartment. We went for a stroll downtown and straight into a typical Lithuania restaurant serving traditional food – again 😉

Typical beer plate!

What a feast it was!

After two mains each and a few more beers we walked back to our apartment and had a fantastic sleep – not very surprising, huh?!

The haircut, scheduled for a long time was finally accomplished and let us look a little less like travellers before meeting up with Povilas, who Jendrik knows for a long time, in Vilnius‘ old town. We had dinner and a very nice evening with many laughs! He was so kind to receive some mail for us from Hamburg, amongst were all our tickets for the World Cup in Russia as the FIFA wasn’t able to send these out in time… thanks again Povilas!

The next day we took off heading East, after getting done some work on the motorbike (with some parts also received with the mail) and set up our excellent MSR tent in no time in Northern Lithuania, even though we faced heavy wind. Our routines seem to be almost perfect by now.

Barzai is supposed to be our last stop in Lithuania as we’re heading to Latvia tomorrow. That day was the first time we actually had some rain while driving…

Holidays

28. May – 1st June

After we arrived at Campground Rafa 52 in Osrodek we set up our tent and used the new bought camping stow for the first time. We had some Polish Borsz instant noodles. Poland seems to be a instant soup and biscuit nation – the supermarkets are full of all kinds of flavors. Looking for standard Tempo tissues on the other hand- hopeless.

We called it an early night and got up the next day woken up by the sun – that would have never happened at home 😉 We managed to get a surprisingly delicious coffee in the Taverna and relaxed at the lake, went for a swim and just chilled out. Not having a daily routine on the trip, doesn’t mean every day it’s like holiday. This day was, for sure.

By the way: how lucky we are! We haven’t seen a single raindrop since we started two weeks ago. We definitely expect it to be continued like that the next 24 weeks 😉

The next morning we went for another 200km ride to Bydgoszcz where we headed to a hidden camp at a river Brda deep in the forest. Very natural location, almost nobody there. Our camp-set-up-routine is quite good already, so we did and had again another pasta. Salt should be on our shopping list…

Daniel went to get some beer while in the meantime Willi from Bavaria arrived who is riding a bicycle from Berlin to Vilnius. We had a beer all together. He really appreciated the drink and the company. Being on the road alone for almost 10 days he seems to be happy for the chat. So were we. Have a safe ride Willi!

We booked an apartment in Gdańsk (Danzig) where we stayed for two nights. Very adventurous driving through woods and fields, on cobblestones and sand roads. I don’t have to mention that we prefer empty and more remote routes to enjoy riding on our way to our destinations. That worked out very well that day until we reached the city. Stop and Go everywhere and the heat on the bike without the chilly breeze is hard to stand and made us sweat immediately. The happier we were once we arrived.

We recharged all electronic devices, recharged our bodies, recharged our nutrients with some good food again after all these pastas. An early run to the beautiful beach of the Baltic Sea also quietened our conscience and sightseeing in the old town put some more miles to our account. Gdańsk is beautiful and worth a weekend trip from Hamburg.

Check out our route, we are constantly updating.