On the way to Tehran we stopped in the town of Abyek to stretch our legs. As usual, a small crowd quickly gathered around us, curious about where we come from, how fast the bikes go and how much they cost. In such places it usually doesn’t take long before the police notices us also. But these policemen looked serious and weren’t dressed in uniform. ‘State police,’ they said, and we had to follow them to the nearby police station for an interrogation. Fortunately Ali, a helpful local who spoke English, popped up out of nothing offering help and joined us to the station to translate. The police asked us a few questions about our trip and what we were doing in Abyek, and photocopied our passports. They apologised for ‘just doing their job’ and we could go, relieved they did not check our insurance because we were riding without!
Ali, who turned out to be a businessman importing German harvesters, then took us to a restaurant for lunch. Afterwards he offered to fill up our tanks with benzin, which we kindly refused since he already paid for our meal!