Adrenalin fills my vains, I thrash about in panic. Out of the corner of my eye I see a hand raised with a knife. From the right a hand tries to cover my mouth, but no chance. I scream "F#*! OFF" asloud as I can. A swing left and right and I'm free from their grip. I waste no time dashing the 30 m to the door of the hostel.
An innocent stroll to fill my water bottle at the water cooler turns into the biggest disapointment on the trip so far. As I fill my bottle, at least 6 men appear behind me on motorcycles. Suddenly I feel my bag being pulled at, then my arms grabbed. I react quickly realising that they are still half on their bikes and not so mobile. My bag strap is over my shoulder and not so easy to remove which adds to the panic.
With a bleeding nose and totally soaked from my own water bottle, I enter the hostel yelling. Within seconds the police arrive wearing bullet proof jackets and carrying automatic weapons. After ascertaining that I am ok and nothing is missing, then leave, helpless to do anything.
Nothing was taken apart from a little of the trust I have for these (mostly) trustworthy people. I didn't realise at the time but my sunglasses also went missing druing the scuffle, probably fell to the ground, could have been worse! This taints another day of Iranian hospitality where we were looked after by the friends of the cousin of the friend of a friend of a CouchSurfer whom we never met (Iranian networking).
Apon our arrival in Esfahan at 6 am, they were waiting for us, after following them 20 km, we were provided with breakfast and somewhere to rest before being taken on a tour of the city, as usual our attemps to pay for anything were politely but deffinitely refused. Finally, after a phone call from the police saying that we were not allowed to stay with them, they took us to a hostel. They then biked home then drove our bags to us in the city. How exactly the police knew we were there, I don't know but they know everything.
It is a strange feeling for me to be at a hostel with everything that entails, backpackers, laundry service, booked tours etc, etc. I must say that after 2 months cycling, it was really nice to be here, though I can say for sure that after one day, I will again be longing for the freedom of the bike. Ironically, I had made a comment to a Canadian backpacker earlier in the evening about the dangers of touristy areas, my point now proven!