We’re almost to the border but Iran wasn’t about to let us go without a final farewell show of her hospitality at its best. The country’s kindness started in the morning when we stopped at a small shop for some food and asked where the bakery was so we could buy bread as well. “It’s closed,” the woman said, thinking for a second and then running into her home to bring us two large rounds of bread she’d bought that morning.

Not long down the road, after reaching the peak of a small mountain and cruising down the other side, we cycled out to the beautiful Rabat-e-Sharaf caravanserai, set in green farming fields a short distance from the main route. The holiday period for Iranian New Year isn’t quite over so although we arrived at the caravanserai in the morning, there were already a few families spreading out blankets for tea and midday picnics. We thought we’d picked a quiet spot for our extended lunch break but it wasn’t long before a large family showed up and of course our bikes attracted their attention, particularly of one man.

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