Salt Lake, Maranjab desert

If I remember correctly, we had arrived in Kashan the last time I wrote, am I right?!

By taxi, along with Serbian Pavlovic and Chinese George, I went exploring the area around the city. In the morning we went to the Bagh-e Fin gardens, which I enjoyed despite there being so many people that it was difficult to see much, because it was Friday, which means it was the Iranian weekend. From there we went to Abyaneh village, probably the place I liked least to this day in this country full of good things. Maybe because my expectations were high, but the truth is that I don’t like to be in a village where local life no longer exists and where the streets abound with tourists trampling one another… they didn’t like it much either. What I liked most this morning was perhaps the road between the gardens and the village, surrounded by mountains, which indeed is almost the rule here. In the afternoon the destination was nature, desert and a salty dry river. We climbed the dunes, watched the sunset, took pictures with Iranian tourists and when we left to come back to Kashan the taxi driver got lost for a few minutes due to a small sandstorm, and then when he found the road again he celebrated as if he had won the lottery!

Holy Shrine, Kashan

 

From Kashan I got on a bus to Esfahan, a city I already knew and liked. After my second time there I still love it very much. The energy around the river, this time with water, lots of water (in 2014 it was dry), is incredible … and if it’s the end of the day, even better. Picnicking, talking, singing, dancing … it’s a lesson in how to live our free time. I was with my friend Malieh again, an artist by education and profession. It was the last days before the elections and the candidates were speaking throughout Iran. One day the current president came to Esfahan to speak and I attended, and there were many people talking to me to know my thoughts on the subject. The president, who won the election again, was the favourite of the young people: – He’s not good, but he’s the least bad! – they said!

Sunset by the river, Esfahan

 

From Esfahan I got on a bus again, to Yazd, and spent two days walking through the city before joining a couple, Matthiew and Carmen, he French and she German, who wanted to go and visit the Kalut desert. At the bus station in Kerman we meet our guide, who was with Morten, a young Danish guy. The five of us went together to the desert, where it was 40 degrees. I was sweating so much that my body was like a faucet, my eyes burned and water was scarce. The good part?! The scenery is incredible, really! As the light was fading, and as we were unable to see the sunset due to the amount of sand in the air, we went to a local house where we had dinner and slept. At 5am we went again towards the desert to see the sunrise, but once again it was not possible, as it was completely cloudy. But I couldn’t complain, as we were in another part of the desert, another stunning landscape! With each new minute the temperature increased and so we continued with a few stops until we were back in Kerman.

Kaluts desert, Kerman

 

I went to a small village that is halfway to Yazd, and spend two days with Hamid, who made his home a guest house, and served the best food in Iran this second time I was there, his wife cooks so, but so well. With him and along with other tourists I went to drink tea in the mountains, visited small villages and walked in silence near by.

A few people I know are traveling around the world by hitchhiking. Morten, the boy I met in Kaluts, is doing it in Iran. I thought it was nice to try it out here and so it was, I told him I was going to hitchhike to Bandar Abbas, in the south of Iran. He liked the idea and we arranged to meet in a small village about fifty miles south of Kerman. From where I was until I met him it was a little more than 100 km that were divided between 6 rides, two of them where people spoke perfect English and where I was invited to stay in their house and was given their phone numbers in case I needed anything. For the other four communication was by body language, one of them was a milk delivery man who took me to some customers before leaving me on the main road to continue my journey. Between rides, I never waited more than 1 minute, which is amazing.

I arrived at the destination where Morten was already, and he told me someone wanted to offer us two bus tickets to Bander Abbas, but obviously he had refused. More than traveling for free, hitchhiking is an incredible way to communicate with others, and to share experiences. Until Bandar Abbas, there were 3 more rides, one of them for 400km, a trucker driver who didn’t speak any English but who was so happy to take us with him, took selfies with us and sent them proudly to his friends on whatsapp. Whenever we passed the police he asked us to pretend we were sleeping. We arrived at night and had to wait for the next day to catch the boat to the island of Qeshm. It was difficult to find a cheap place to sleep, first they took us to a five star hotel, then to some pensions, all of them full… finally someone told us about a small local hotel near by a good price.

Tomorrow we wake up early to catch the first ferry to Qeshm!

These weeks were very different to the first week and my first time here, as I stayed in hostels and hostels, and more with tourists than with local people. Each one has its charm, with the locals we learn and you live the country more, with the other tourists we learn a little from other countries …

I like most being with the locals! 🙂

*This as all the other articles on this site are translated by my good friend Devo Forbes!!

Cheers!!