We spend the last two days in Mashhad to do some shopping as for the next couple of days there won’t be many possibilities to do so. Our shopping list is not that long: some dried fruits, fresh fruits and vegetable, coffe, cookies, noodles and some other things. What we will need most is water: we will be crossing the desert and moreover we will be camping. Markus and I are a bit nervous and ask ourselves how fast we will get forward and how fit we are after having had a biking break for some days, knowing that some long legs are awaiting us.
Augsut 26 we finally continue our biketrip. We get up at 5.30am, load our bikes and have a nice breakfast from the delicious breakfast buffet. It almost looks as if it would be our last meal! Finally we are ready to start biking again. It just feels great! Once more we realise that we had been missing our bikes and the biking so much!
It doesn’t take long to leave Mashhad behind us. Ahead of us we are facing 200km of unhinhabited land and barren landscape. Only a few cars and trucks are passing by every once in a while, there is only the headwind whistling around the ears. Some shepards are looking after their heards of sheep. Nothing else. We have planned 3 days to reach Sarakhs to be sure to reach the border of Turkmensitan in time. As it happenend already several times in the past, we were faster than planned and reached Sarakhs within 2 days. On the way we stop every 20 to 30 minutes to drink some water. As the air is very dry and we hardly are sweating we don’t realise how much water we loose. During one of these drinking rests a car stops next to us. We already hope, that the driver will offer us some ice cold water. But we were wrong. This guy really dared asking us for water! After all the nice experiences we’ve had with helpful people we couldn’t say no. We offered him one of our bottle of water. But his reaction was upsetting us: he took a first sip of water and immediately spit it out again, complaining that it was too warm and not drinkable! He got back to his car without a thank you!
In the late afternoon of the 2nd day we reached Sarakhs, completely exhausted. The 2 legs of the past 2 days with more than 90km each, additionally some 500 meter of hights and headwinds all the time were enough for the time being!