Half Year Asia Adventure // PART--6
We stopped for a few days in the Iranian capital, Tehran. We found accommodation and relatively good food in the European flophouse hotel "Amir Kabir". Finally we were able to pick up our vehicle from the repair shop. In the meantime we had gotten to know the city and the people just as much as the nightlife there and the largest covered bazaar in Asia.
The night before we left, we were involved in an accident that luckily didn't hurt anyone. My friend was forced to slam on the brakes when a military jeep crashed into the rear of the VW that was being repaired a few hours earlier. What bad luck: the rear license plate was missing! Fear of reprisals At the police station, the whole initiative to pursue and arrest the fugitive consisted of a shrug and the words "I'm sorry". Try as we might, we did not receive the slightest support or compensation. The fear of reprisals from the "all-powerful" military is still too deeply rooted in the police officers in this country, especially since they are recruited from the army.
Thundering into the Great Salt Desert. . .
With a severely damaged rear end and a broken exhaust pipe, we thundered into the Great Salt Desert, whose northern edge stretches from Tehran to Mashad (approx. 1000 km). Now the four of us (a doctor from Hamburg who writes and his traveling companion Renate, an architecture student, complemented our crew) we drove for three days through a dreary, deserted wasteland on the worst possible "road". Excitement only arose during a few involuntary stops after our car hit us due to a dusty carburetor, a worn-out ignition coil, etc. smaller Defeke failed several times. The horizon grew dark Several hundred kilometers from Mashad, we caught our breath: a sandstorm was imminent. Within a few minutes, the horizon darkened and soon the immediate area around our vehicle as well. There was only one thing for us: quickly moisten cloths with the Coke we had and then tie them tightly around our noses and mouths. The protective wall of a "desert fortress" that suddenly appeared was quickly headed for. Outside, a hurricane-force storm raged across the desert. A veritable inferno of dust filled the air and the finest dust particles found their way into the interior of the car faster and faster. Thank God this spook was soon over. We were lucky that we only caught a hint of sandstorm at its edge. We immediately thought of people who had died of suffocation in the middle of a sandstorm. We were still terrified when we saw the first houses of Persia's desert pearl Mashad - after Mecca the holiest city in the Islamic world.
In the 15 km wide no-man's-land between Iran and Afghanistan, it was said again: all men (and one woman) get out. This time we had to use all of our auto-technical knowledge at an unfavorable point ;-)), only to soon be able to make the reassuring statement: oh yes - the engine just "drowned". If a major defect had ruined our progress: in no-man's-land nobody would have come to our help so quickly. But the joy of "victory" over technology was not to last long. After another 30 km we experienced the same bankruptcy again. We checked everything we could think of and everything seemed ok to us. So the engine had to be "drowned" again. If not - then we should have prepared ourselves for a long and dangerous night: for now we were in wild Afghanistan. After half an hour I got back in the car. The joy was great when our "Thunderbox" made its deafening noise like in the old days.
(to be continued)
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Harry Schlo▀macher.
Published on e-Stories.org on 06/22/2023.