Noilly Prattle: Persian Odyssey: Part IX – a little push and shove

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Persian Odyssey: Part IX – a little push and shove

As I dropped down in elevation I was reaching the inevitable emotional low point in any journey. The civil war was snapping at my heels and I was riding a semi-crippled bike in a landscape that was both bleak and getting hotter with the decrease in elevation. A situation not exactly designed to create a carefree holiday mood. In these less than high spirits I pulled into Dezful in search of a sprocket and found a bike shop, but try getting a part for a Maserati at the local Chevy dealership. Sorry! Hey, nice bike, but we don't see many of those around here. Checked the slack on the chain and added more lubricant and limped on to Susa; my entire awareness focused on the drive train.

Susa, as an archeological site, was pretty unimpressive. Unlike the splendor I later saw at Persepolis, Susa didn't look much different than its surrounding desert environment—except maybe to an archeologist.  

the archeological site of Susa
There are some relief carvings taken from excavations at Susa in museums that show there really was something there once upon a time. They are similar to those you can see at Persepolis.

winged sphinx and archers from Darius's palace at Susa

Leaving Susa I thought I might have better luck finding a sprocket in Ahwaz, the center of the country's oil fields. Oil region + gasoline-powered vehicle = cutting edge shops with up to the minute spare parts, right? So, I'm bumping along on a two-lane highway when up ahead of me I see two big trucks coming directly at me, one in my lane trying to pass the other. Either they didn't see me or they didn't give a damn, but it was a choice of a head on collision or swerve onto the loose dirt and gravel shoulder, which I did without thinking, fishtailing from side to side and struggling to prevent a nasty, possibly fatal spill. When I finally managed to stop with the bike still upright under me I just sat there shaking and trembling from helmet to boots for some time until I calmed down enough to keep going. I soon pulled into a roadside rest area to refresh and pull myself together when a car pulled up and some menacing looking guys got out and headed in my direction.

To be continued...

[All photos in this post courtesy of Wikipedia. My own have been lost.]


Anonymous said...

loved the carvings…doesn't seem like a very 'friendly' kind of trip, so far…

da da da dum….can't wait.

Noilly Prattle said...

Hard to make new friends in the midst of a civil war. But an adrenalin rush...

Anonymous said...

I suppose so…couldn't you go hang gliding or something???

I am biting my nails.

I have a new sense of respect for you, oh Shorn One.