I LAY IN MY SLEEPING BAG, the cold barely kept at bay. I had entered Iran during the depths of winter and was beginning to wonder if this had been a mistake. It had taken four days of hitchhiking to get to Tehran and I was still getting used to a country where I had yet to see another backpacker.
I had accepted that backpacking Iran was going to be a very different experience to traveling in any other country I had visited before. I had yet to see anybody drinking or smoking and, so far, the only girls I had seen had been hidden deep within the endless black folds of heavy chadors. I expected to have to keep my head down, and to abstain from sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.