Day 274 | Tuesday December 13
After a few weeks of silence on this blog I am back. Due to some restrictions in Iran I was not allowed to publish articles about my adventures in this country. I can say that I had the time of my life here. Iran’s nature is beautiful, there were many things to do but what made it really special was the people I’ve met here. Everywhere I came I was welcomed with open arms, people are very hospitable and kind and it was a very unique and unforgettable experience to be here.
On Monday evening I got on a ferry from Bandar Abbas, a city on the Persian Gulf. At 9 in the morning the ship arrived at Port Khalid in Sharjah, 50km from Dubai. I could almost not hold my eyes open as I didn’t close them much last night. Even tough I had 3 chairs for myself which I fully used, these Iranians like to snore a lot which kept me awake.
It was not until 11 that we were allowed to disembark. First the woman were ‘released’, than the containers and eventually the man. A weird process. With a bus we were taken the the passport control, for Dutch citizens they offer a free visa on arrival which is valid for 90 days. They seem to be nice for Europeans, all the Iranians needed to get their eyes checked, we didn’t need to do that. Probably they know about the good quality of carrots in Europe.
After the passport-check a long and unclear process followed. First we needed to wait for the shipper. I am talking about ‘we’ as I met some other Europeans who were traveling by car as well. A German couple with a huge truck, an Austrian couple with a van and a French couple. I needed to pay the shipper 410 dirham, which is around 100 euro. Luckily I have some money now and could use the ATM again. Than there was a long process of document-checks, stamp here, stamp there, signature at another office and back again. I don’t know how many kilometers I walked today but I burned a lot of calories.
It was not until 4pm that I finally got to see the car. I worried a lot about her condition. The car already shipped separately from me and left already on Sunday. The car is very low and I already saw that the ramp to and off the ferry was very steep and the car could not have made this. The batteries are underneath the car and if these hit an object it can get seriously damaged. From the outside she looked great and on the display I couldn’t find any abnormalities about the inside so she seemed to have survived without a scratch. When I received the keys to the car I still couldn’t leave the port. The car needed to go through an X-Ray scanner. Just like when you break you leg but a few sizes bigger. After this I got another stamp and could pick up my exit-pass. When I left the gate it was 5pm. Just when I passed the gate I realized I had left luggage in the office of the shipper. I was not allowed back into the harbor with the car so I needed to walk 2km, walk back with the luggage, pass the custom-checks again and now I could really leave, another hour had passed. This day I lost about 800 dirham, which is around 200 euro. A big loss.
So I started driving towards Dubai. When I left 274 days ago I had no idea where this journey would bring me so that I arrived now in the Emirates is really something special. The highway to the center of the city was exactly what I expected: huge skyscrapers on both sides, posh cars passing me and flashy LED lights everywhere.
My host for today and the coming days in Jan Willem, a Dutchie. I got in touch with him through a friend from Haarlem who works as cabin crew for Emirates here and is flying at the moment. My host lives at the famous Palm Island, you know the island in the shape of a palmtree. For me this was always something unreachable as it’s bloody expensive and far away. Very special that I’m spending a few days here.
My new host
Around 7 I rang Jan Willem’s doorbell. He is a friendly guy and works for a Dutch investment company. He has a housemate, Andrew, a 54 year old. The apartments here are luxurious, seriously luxurious. Each building has a supermarket, gym, beach, spa, some stores and a restaurant. In this restaurant we had a great dinner and a cold beer. That last one especially made me happy since I didn’t had that for many weeks.
Here in The Emirates are no filters on social media and the internet connection is very fast here. From now one you will see daily updates on this website and my socials like you were used too.
The plan for Dubai
About the coming period. I need to find a way to ship the car to India which is very expensive and I don’t have the money for that at the moment. In the coming days I have some meetings with companies and I’m hoping they are interested in sponsoring this. If not I would need to start a crowdfunding campaign or find a job to earn the money. Also I had a request to join an event about electric cars which takes place at the end of January, I havent decided yet if I will join but it seems very interesting.
In eater way I am going to be in Dubai for a few weeks as there is also a lot going on sustainability wise. This part didn’t really work out in the past few countries so I will pay some more attention to that.