Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
143Trip End Nov 15, 2007
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We got a great early start towards Esfahan, lost Lou and Lynn at a roundabout, then drove 90 kilometers out of our way in the wrong direction! This was a bad karma day.
We eventually found the right road to Qom and tried to text Lou where we were. Nothing happened. We text family in Australia, no luck, everything stayed in the mobbile phone's outbox. We were expecting lots of texts for our 33rd Wedding Anniversary, but none came.
As we were driving on the freeway to Qom we were side swiped on the tray of our vehicle by a car which did not stop
We drove through several tolls anticipating meeting Lou and Lynn at one of them. We were not sure if they were in front of us or behind now. Eventually we stopped for lunch and parked our vehicle in a clear spot by the road. We waited 1½ hours, but Lou and Lynn did not arrive. We had arranged to camp up in Esfahan so kept traveling on the major highway towards it.
At the last toll before Esfahan we waited another half an hour. I got the photo of Lou and Lynn and the photo of their vehicle out of the car and took it to the toll keeper. He indicated that that car had already gone through, so we jumped back into ours and headed into the town of Esfahan. (It turned out that the information from the toll keeper was incorrect). We stayed on the main road but saw no sign of Lou and Lynn. We were getting worried and it was getting dark.
We asked a police officer to show us the way back to the toll road. He held up the traffic, stepped in front of our vehicle and escorted us, on foot, through the most congested traffic conditions imaginable, to the roundabout where we could return to the toll road
All the way along we were broadcasting on the CB radio for an answer from Lou and Lynn because by now it was truly dark. We were a good way back to the toll when we heard a crackling over the CB and finally Lynn breaking up saying "......you Jen....." I yelled to Des to "Stop, stop, stop," because our range on the CB is only line of sight. We broadcast again and tried to tell Lou to "stop and wait", (he did not hear this) and that we would turn around and come to him, because the transmission was coming from the other side of the freeway through the trees. Then I had heard Lynn say "We're on the road into Esfahan"
Of course it was kilometers down the road before there was a break in the highway and we were frantic Lou and Lynn might follow us in the direction of Qom again. It was very stressful because a large majority of the vehicles driving on the road did not have any lights on. We don't like to drive at night if we can help it, but we had to catch up before we camped up for the night, it's safer to camp together. Finally, with continual transmissions, we caught up again and got to a clear spot where we could hear each other better and talked each other towards our locations. We hugged and laughed, we were never so happy to see two people in our lives. It was a tense time.
Lou and Lynn had been pulled over by the police before Qom, and by driving off the bitumen, a 5cm piece of steel imbedded into their tyre. The Police were very embarrassed and apologetic and changed the tyre for Lou in their pressed white shirts
When Lou passed them again a little later, after having the tyre repaired, they pulled him over again, to give him iced water. Very kind.
We finally camped near a hospital and a cargo depot, exhausted from our concern and worry of the day. We tried to contact Mum and Dad at home on the Satellite Phone but had lost the code to unlock it!