Immigration & bike touring
Seems the new immigration thinking south of the border might cause me some future woes. See the recent story linked off pic below:
I visited Iran for a 6 week bike tour some years past - flying into Shiraz in the SW, riding out into the central Dash-e Kavir desert, then back west to Isfahan, before finishing with a ride down the western Zagros Mountains. It was a fabulous ride, made specially relevant by the incredible hospitality I was repeatedly shown.
In spite of how Iran is usually portrayed in western media, this was not a reckless touring destination to choose. I had ridden various countries of Central Asia a few times previously. Occasionally, I met long haul cycle tourists crossing between Europe & East Asia. Most had crossed Iran, and I was repeatedly told, not only that it was safe, but that the hospitality was incredible. I did a fair bit of research, including talking with Iranian Canadians, before deciding to travel there. See my slide show in the World Gallery section for more on the trip.
I have a new passport since my Iran trip, but have been told that countries visited from my prior passport were loaded on the chip in the new one. So I have to assume I'm advised to stay away from the US, including simple transit - which I already try to avoid since they once opened up my crated bicycle (that's fine) and then couldn't get it back in the box, so just crammed things in, damaging some things (not so fine). Given that I've also ridden other Central Asian countries, I should assume that won't help out either.
Photo below is near Shiraz. I was invited to join a roadside group for some tea - happened all the time; in fact, I often had to turn down invitations so I could actually make some riding progress.