Landscape in Iran
We eat some breakfast and leave with the truck of Abdullah again. We decide to not enter Tabriz because our time in Iran is very limited and we saw the city few years ago. So we head directly to Zahedan – the border town between Iran and Pakistan.
At noon we stop to eat something and Abdullah mixes some tahini with some kind of syrup, and offers us some olives, cheese and bread – and the table for lunch is set. We leave again and after one whole day traveling really slowly with the truck our roads separate. Abdullah advises us to be cautious with the Iranian “Sheitan”(this is Turkish word for devil), then invites us to visit his home someday and he drives away.
We start the real hitchhiking on Iranian land. The first car that takes us is driven by some smelly guy with green eyes and he drives us to Bijar. Once we are there we find an internet café and the boss refuses to charge us for the time we spend there. We photograph some maps with our camera since we do not have any maps, or smart phones or any way to orientate and we start searching for a place to pitch our tent. We were near the end of the town when a local couple stops nearby and offers us to come and sleep at their home. We agree and they take us to their luxury house.
Moustafa and Azade from Bijar
They are indescribably hospitable! They prepare fantastic dinner – baklava (asian sweets), nuts, tea and various dishes. And at the end offer us to take shower and to even wash our clothes! Finally they put us to sleep in their bedroom. The girl, Azade does not wear a veil on her hair and smokes cigarettes (something we have never seen in Iran before). The boy, Moustafa trets us with whiskey (alcohol is forbidden in Iran so all the people drink whiskey, talk about it and always treat you with whiskey). We have lots of fun with these guys although they do not speak English. In the morning they see us off ritually.
It is raining. I am stepping in the puddles wearing sandals with socks. Here the brings joy to everyone since it is rare but not for us at the moment. Today is our third day in Iran and we are in a terrible hurry because of the little time we have left in this marvelous country. We haven’t stopped almost anywhere, we haven’t had the time to take walks and see sights or landmarks we feel we even barely step on the ground. Up to now, for us, traveling is engine roar and amazing views through the windows of the cars or trucks who take us. We see huge void areas with ginormous montains here and there that look like they have been put by some giant. The scale of the views is indescribable and the photos can not represent their magnificence. We are happy that it is spring now and we can see everything covered in green and violet colors.
Often we see huge herds of black sheep pasturing on the slopes. We must come back to live here at least half a year so that we can trek the mountains a little bit. “A little bit” because they are so big that seems impossible to walk through them all.
We started hitchhiking again. The main problem with this kind of traveling here is that you need to explain to everyone who stops that we want to travel for free if the people who stop like us. Finally a taxi stopped and agreed not to charge us. His car was the famous Paykan (it is made by Peugeot especially for Iran – the car is not luxurious but very strong and good for dirt roads). This Paykan in particular was old and broken and it was raining on the head of the passengers beside the driver. The driver treated us with tea and we were very thankful that he took us in his car because this saved us from the rain.
Travelling with the taxi we reached Malaer. Then a car driven by an old guy and two boys inside stopped. Sadly it resulted that the old guy was unscrupulous taxi driver (many taxis in Iran look like ordinary cars with no special signs) and he wanted to charge us 10$ which is very big sum for Iranian standards. We started arguing hotly a crowd summoned. Finally we agreed to give him 8 $ – which is double the price – normaly for this distance of about 100 km. it costs 2$ per person.
We continue in direction Khomeini in not so good mood. After a while a strange guy with green eyes stops and takes us, he explained to us he is teacher in Arabic. He invites us at his home and we take the offer. His house is really luxurious and all of his family are supermuslims. All the women (his wife and two daughters) wear their veils constantly in the house especially when the guy I travel with, Mr. Shushtari is around. Little by little we become closer and the conversation becomes pretty cheerful.
At the beginning the wife of the teacher is really estranged and reserved because we are not Muslims. But after a while she comes to the conclusion that we are human beings too : ) The teacher invites Mr. Shushtari to accept Islam and Shushtari’s stomach is upset by all the emotions of the day. They give us their bedroom to use – in the beginning the teacher wanted us to sleep men and women separately : ) In the morning we have to get up at 5:30 for the morning prayer.
The good teacher and his family
We get out of bed and catch a bus to Isfahan and then Yazd. We have 4 days left in Iran. We do not like traveling with bus since it is boring and costly, but we have to do it so we can see something of Iran for 8 days.
The mosque in Yazd
We arrive in Yazd after 8 hours of exhausting bus ride through the desert. The temperatures are high here and the endless desert around us gather in a oasis so green that it makes your eyes hurt. Around us we see strange houses made of sun-dried bricks and coming in interesting forms. The streets are like some narrow labyrinths with many tunnels. The mosque is violet at this time of the night and stretches its minarets in the sky. Shop windows with carpets, old articles, copper utensils and many different things surround us. There are groups of women dressed in chadors and men who walk slowly. Sometimes we also see balochi people with fierce looks in their eyes.