Monday, 30 January 2012

Turkish Customs

In the morning when we awoke, no one was there at all. All the vehicles and the Army had left. We must have been dead tired to sleep through all the noise of them all leaving. However we were soon on our way and then we saw the road surface for what it really was in daylight, non-existent!
We passed a number of vehicles, which were at one time TIR type 18-wheeler trucks, but these had been stripped down to the steel chassis. Fate was still on our side and we pushed on towards the Iranian border, which was according to my calculations just a few more hours’ drive away.
Some while after, we must have been getting near to the Turkish - Iranian border and I asked Bob what he thought all these trucks doing here queued up? There must have been at least one hundred parked end to end, all heading in the direction of Iran. We just drove on past these trucks and finally got to within sight of the border and fell in behind a smaller queue of cars and waited our turn.
It turned out all the trucks were trying to clear Turkish customs and this could literally take days. After hanging around for an hour or so we had someone come and check our car to confirm this was the car we had entered Turkey with got our exit stamp and then we drove into Iran. This was almost like some kind of comedy sketch as there was no asphalt on the Turkish side of the border and the Turkish guards were propped up learning on their rifles smoking cigarettes looking decidedly scruffy. Then we literally drove across a white line and onto perfectly flat smooth tarmac and we were suddenly in Iran with soldiers dressed cleanly, smartly and standing to attention. 

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