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The kindness of strangers

The kindness of strangers
The lobby of Dubai's Regent Hyatt

The days spent in Iran were a constant battle — the heat, the customs, the language barrier. Despite the incredible hospitality we came to know, there were new, exciting challenges we were yet to experience.

In Iran we got up at 5am and cycled to 12pm before we had to escape to the shade to protect ourselves from the intense heat. Also, Ramadan meant that we couldn't go into restaurants as we had done previously in Turkey and this made things quite tough, and at times quite boring.

We often had six hours to fill in the afternoon before dinner. My broken bones only made things harder too especially for my team members who had to lug some of my gear on their bikes while I followed them on public transport.

We were ready for a break and Dubai as our halfway point between Iran and Pakistan seemed like the best place for one. On a budget of $60 a day for the four of us we knew we were likely to stay in a dingy place somewhere off the beaten track with no air conditioning but still — it was a break we all needed.

We then had the crazy idea of writing to a few hotels to see if they were prepared to give us a discount. To our surprise, the Regent Hyatt in Dubai wrote back to us offering us free accommodation for three nights!

A five-star hotel is definitely not the sort of service we were used to. As soon as we arrived we were taken to a buffet breakfast, which clearly stands as the greatest breakfast I have had in my life. We spent the next three days eating, lounging around the pool, playing tennis and watching some very cheesy movies.

It was exactly what we all needed and in particular my mates who had been working extremely hard. What an amazing reward.

Needless to say, we came back down to earth pretty hard once we hit Pakistan!

~ Tim

For more info check out Ride2Rescue.org

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