As amazing as Esfahan was, I was getting a little tired of endlessly walking around urban environments. Rather than spend even more time in another city (Yazd), I chose to head towards a traditional homestay in a small village an hour east. Toudeshk is the town, and it seems to be a popular stop with cyclists, being 100km from the nearest large town either way (a days cycle).
Again, hopping on the local bus was a joy, and I was beseiged by questions about where I was going and if I needed help. Several of the men on board organised to call ahead to my accomodation and ensure the owner was there to meet me when the bus arrive. After winding through a few mud-brick back alleys we walked from the bike into a walled courtyard. I just dropped my bags and walked straight out again, heading towards some of the nearby hills to catch some the sunset.
Once out of the village, I felt really glad I had gone for this option. The village was surrounded by desert, far-off mountain ranges, and a large (but dry) river across the other side of the highway. I could stretch my arms, my mind, my lungs and just enjoy the silence and space in the cool afternoon air.
That evening we sat around to have dinner with family, friends, a young German cyclist and perhaps the most well-travelled person I’ve ever met (a guy from Hong Kong who has traveled overland on every continent) . The food was nothing special, but the conversation and entertainment was good. This included the curious act of making lumps of sugar out of a 50cm cone of solid sugar using a chisel and scissors – apparently the way it’s done here!
The next morning I got treated to several breakfasts after one of the men from the bus saw me wandering the houses looking for good photo shots, and dragged me in to meet his extended family.