The owner of the very trick BMW was an Austrian guy called Markus or Mex as he preferred to be called. His BMW was heavily modified with very few parts left in their original state. It was a work of technical genius, far beyond my level of mechanical or riding expertise. Mex, and his wife Moni, and I were to become good friends during our many days together in Dushanbe. They also had bike problems. The clutch on Moni’s bike had failed and they were waiting for a new clutch plate to arrive from Germany via DHL.
I had three major tasks to complete in Dushanbe. Despite the urgency of fixing the bike’s electrical problem I had to give priority to getting my visas for Iran and Turkmenistan. I could work on the bike while I was waiting for the visas. In direct contradiction to what I had read on many websites, it was NOT possible to get my Turkmen transit visa without getting the Iran visa first. So my first port of call on Day 1 was the Iranian Embassy. With a bit of Tajiklish I managed to get a taxi down Rudaki for what was to be the first of many, many trips. At the embassy I was relieved of US$185 and told to come back on Tuesday (it was now Thursday). This meant I now had several days to concentrate on fixing the bike. Continue reading