Friday August 1, 2014
After a sometimes frustrating week back and forth to the Iranian Consulate in Baku and several Skype calls to our agent in Iran we now have our visas! This is indeed a banner moment. We have read many cycle touring blogs and the favorite country of all in most of these blogs is Iran because it is a beautiful country and the people very friendly. Needless to say we are so excited to start our 28 day cycling tour which will include mostly camping.
In the meantime we have stayed in a very comfortable hotel near old town Baku. Our bicycles are well taken care of and we have been exploring this very interesting city. So far we have spent almost an entire month applying for and waiting for visas. But we have made peace with the process and learned that patience and smiles get the job done.
We would like to thank our agents in Iran, Ali and Hamid, for their tireless work in making this overwhelming task happen. We would also like to thank the Baku Islamic Republic of Iran Consulate manager who befriended us and became very interested in our journey and took it upon himself to make this happen. After our visas were issued we were invited into his office where he talked about the tension between our two countries and that someday he hopes there will be peace and free travel between us. We wholeheartedly agree and thanked him for his generous time. He wanted to be among the first to welcome us to Iran and is such a kind and thoughtful gentleman.
After one more business task we will cycle the 120 miles to Bilasuvar which is our point of entry on the Azerbaijan and Iran border. We will then start our Iran cycle tour.