Iran was a bit of a blur. When we finally did get in with passports properly stamped, we were told we needed a police escort. Someone who would be IN the car with us. As it was, the 1958 Morris Minor was stuffed to the gilly wigs with three young adults and miscellaneous things. We tried to reason with the border officials.
"Where will the guard sit?"
I think they understood when they peeked into the vehicle. However, there was no choice, we needed to have a police escort. It just so happened that 'The Bus' was going through-- this was a bus tour from England to Kathmandu and back again. The bus was filled with young people who seemed to be having a great time. This bus was the answer to the dilemma-- the police escort would be on the bus and we must follow behind. Our passports were given to the police escort on the bus; this was done to make sure we stayed close to the bus. Unfortunately.......
Just outside of Tehran, I happened to be driving. I must not have been paying attention to the fuel gauge. Everyone was sound asleep-- as it was in the wee hours of the morning. There was no stopping on this trip. It was a straight through drive. The car spluttered to a stop. The bus zipped off ahead and there we were out in the middle of nowhere. Stephen managed to get a ride on a tanker to the nearest petrol kiosk....he was back shortly ...well, let's clarify shortly....remember the last time he left us alone he was gone for five days, so now a few hours was considered a short time. The car was refueled and we were on our way. The only problem was....we no longer had a police escort AND we had no passports!! There were check points to go through. My memory may not be serving me correctly but I seem to recall gunning our way through a couple of those check points.
The nerve racking part of the whole episode was knowing the Iran/Turkey border was looming ahead and we had no passports. I still don't know how we finally caught up with the bus. I vaguely remember hurtling down the roads and finally reaching the border to see the bus in a long line. We did manage to retrieve the passports and leave Iran in one piece.
With the whirlwind trip through Iran there was not much I can remember. I do remember huge sign boards- propaganda style- mainly anti- western. Also, I remember lots of people on picnics. It looked so pleasant seeing families and groups of people everywhere enjoying the outdoors. So in the midst of bombing....war....people were still able to enjoy each other. It left us with a good feeling, despite the bus leaving us stranded in the middle of Iran.