Day Eleven – The Road to Esfahan

6th November 2010 – 586 miles

Today we drove from Tabriz to Esfahan, the longest distance travelled in a day by far on our itinerary. 

We have chosen to bypass Tehran, largely due to time constraints but also as it has a reputation for being big, loud and chaotic.

We did not purchase a card to enable us to buy diesel conventionally at petrol stations, so we piggy backed on to a trucker’s fill up and paid the pump attendant directly.

Diesel prices are fixed and not subject to rationing, and although diesel stations can be hard to find, it is dirt cheap!  Today, we paid 40,000 rials for approximately 100 litres of fuel (we filled up two twenty litre jerry cans too).  This equates to equivalent of 2.8p per litre in UK and that was paying over the odds as a foreigner buying diesel (1.1p usually) on the black market!

Up until Erzurum, Turkey (Day 9), we had consumed 140 gallons over 3,187 miles (that’s 22.8mpg, way short of the 30mpg we predicted) at a cost of approx £769.  Hopefully, the cheap price of diesel for our onward journey (still over 3,000 miles to go!) will bring us back on to budget.

Oh and did I mention that I (Shihab) had lost the petrol cap today.  We had to reposition the car closer to the lorry to fill up and in the meantime someone must have made off with it!  We have created an interim solution using a Sprite can but so far I have lost my sunglasses, camera and now this!

However, I’m not going to admit to losing the keys in Paris though!

A common pastime enjoyed by Iranians is having picnics anytime and anywhere.   Now that we’re out of noodles and have not eaten properly in a couple of days, Nasir rustled up a fabulous curry (an eclectic hybrid between a dopiaza and a bhuna) using tinned sardines.  It may sound odd but tasted great!

Later that evening we met some truckers at the service station on our second fill up.  Here our new found Iranian friends treated their “Englandstani” pals to hamburgers and home-grown non-alcoholic beer!

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