ODOMETER: 3938 km – 4774 km
Tabriz -Tehran-Qum near Mashkat
Arriving at Tehran and finding the Hungarian embassy with a help of Muhammad but refused entry. Running out of money and spending the night next to a Mosque with the armed guards.
After the problems we had yesterday today has already changed our opinion about everything here. The people are extremely friendly and helpful, even more so than in Turkey. As we drive by cars people keep offering us goodies such as bananas or oranges.
Luckily the petrol is dirt cheap so we don’t need to worry about that and every time we stop somewhere we get food offered to us.
Since we left Istanbul we hardly see any big city, even thought we passed Ankara it was nothing like Tehran. This city is just huge with such an impressive highway system. After about an hour driving we finally arrived to the embassy. Our new friend and self proclaimed guide Muhammad told the guards that we are from Hungary and asked them to call in so we can speak to the embassy staff.
Muhammad got extremely angry that we couldn’t get in so he called the lady again –we have no idea what he said to her- and eventually they let us in.
The Hungarian embassy in Tehran is huge. Back in the 70s and 80s there was a bubbling trade between Iran and Hungary but since the fall of the Berlin Wall not much trade going on, let alone tourism.
Finally after waiting for about 30 minutes someone came to see us. It turned out that he is the consul and he is in charge of the embassy now as the ambassador is out of the country. We talked about an hour, telling him about our trip and the money situation we are in right now. He told us that we are in trouble us our money won’t be enough for a hotel room in Tehran and going further south crossing the dessert is not a good idea either due to the summer heat waves which can reach over 50 degrees.
I asked him whether it is possible to exchange so dollars or euros for rials but he pointed out the fact that the embassy is not a bank and why we even have such an idea. At this point Dad wanted to leave but I tried something else. I noticed that the embassy is on a huge land with swimming pool and a nice backyard. I asked the consul whether we could set up our tent there, not for a long time just for the night as it was already 4 pm in the afternoon. He said it is only possible with the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hungary which could take weeks. Nice try Tommy, at least he gave us 2 bottles of water, saying that we will need this later on.
We came to a situation to decide, spend our money on the cheapest hotel room or continue driving further to the south-southeast. We decided to use the money on fuel and ended up leaving Tehran after just a few hours.
As we left the city the food offering started again. We stopped at a big gas station right outside of Tehran and as we already expected the local truckers came to us with all sorts of food. It was comforting to know that at least we can rely on locals if we can’t rely on our countryman at the embassy.
We reached Qum around 8-9 pm and started to look for a place where we could put up our tent. As we drove through the city more and more local teens started to drive with us, within minutes we had a crowd of about 70 motorcycles driving alongside which drove the police’s attention to us. We’ve stopped by a group of policeman and surrounded by the crowd as well. As friendly they were the situation felt a little bit chaotic at this point so we decided to head out of the city as no matter which way we drove that 70 bikes followed us.
We drove eastward until about 11:30 pm when we seen a Mosque brightens up the dark night. We had a few attempts to just drive off the road and camp at some distance away from the highway but eventually decided that our best bet is just to camp next to a Mosque.
As soon as we arrived there they started to prepare some dinner and called their friends over to check us out and the bikes. It was about 1 am when we finally went to sleep, again, in the 1000 star hotel, under the magical Persian night sky.