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NOT ONLY MOUNTAINS: BIKEPACKING IRANIAN KURDISTAN

Photographer Ana Zamorano spent a month pedaling through Iranian Kurdistan, getting to know its lush landscapes and warm locals. Along the way, she documented the places and people she encountered in this unique and infrequently visited region. Find her report here, paired with a beautiful set of photos…

I’d been eager to experience Iran for many years, but it wasn’t until I was cycling through South America that the idea finally began to take form. Whilst enjoying some days off in Sucre, Bolivia, I met my first Iranians, who fuelled my desire to visit their country. After finishing my trip in the Americas, I flew straight to Teheran to begin my Iranian adventure.

I spent my first days in the capital where I had the opportunity to discover and attempt to understand a completely new country. Since everything changed drastically coming from America, it took me more than a week to feel ready to hit the road, or, the off road, as was the case. As a solo woman in a country where the tough laws not only require women to wear a hijab but forbid them from cycling, I was initially afraid. I left Teheran asking myself if I’d made the right decision.

From there, I started the typical route to the southern part of the country. I visited places like Shiraz, Isfahan, and Yazd. They were beautiful, but the people I met were undoubtedly the highlight. Out of all my travels, Iranians were generally the kindest and most wonderful people I’ve ever met, and even they described the Kurdish as the warmest of them all.

Read the full article from Ana Zamorano on Bikepacking.com's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 2022

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Of all the creepy crawlers, ticks keep me on high alert. They can be very tiny in the nymph stage and difficult to see. They love to hang out in tall grasses along the trail and hitch a ride on hikers passing by. I plan on treating most of my clothes and gear with Sawyer Permethrin.

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I would often just drink directly from the sawyer squeeze if I was feeling lazy- which by the way works wonderfully.

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