July 29 Bajrigan, Iran
Yesterday morning while Calen took advantage of internet access at our hotel in Sabzehvar I took the car to a local garage for an oil change. I took a little time to get across what I needed but once they understood Ali, the garage owner was very helpful. Not only did they change the oil but they also replaced a burnt out bulb and a few other minor things. Once I got back to our room and Calen finished the uploads and we got to speak to Rosie at home through Skype. It was so great to hear her voice and catch up. We were amazed that we could talk to each other over the internet from a hotel room half way around the world.
Afterwards we headed east over the Koppe Dag Mountains. This was an incredibly scenic drive over an ancient mountain range of rocky peaks and deep valleys with strange and beautiful views in all directions. The road was narrow and twisty but traffic was light and we took our time and enjoyed the scenery. We arrived at the Iranian side of the border at 4:05 only to find that the border closed at 4:00. We were told that we had to wait until morning but when we tried to leave the border area to find a place to camp we were told that we had to stay within the gates. We set in the parking lot, cooked some dinner, played a game of chess and as it got dark turned on our flashlights to read. A little while later we were visited by a couple of young guys in army uniforms wondering what we were doing camped out in the border area. They looked at our passports and rummaged around in the car for a while then demanded that we go with them. They jumped in the car and took us on a circuitous route throughout the border area stopping to talk to some other army guys and we eventually ended up at the front gate. The guard at the gate wouldn’t let them take us through so they jumped out and we went to park nearer to the gate. Calen slept in the car while I slept on the roof. It is now 7:00 am and the border opens at 8:00 so we are going to head up to the customs building and try to be first in line.