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Published: October 22nd 2014
Early start, up and packed by 0630. Have an explore of the garden- the herbs and veggies all look really healthy. They have peppers, corn, chillies, spinach, basil, lettuce and tomatoes as well as a lot of pomegranates (which I have had a lesson in how to peel thanks to Hamid's sister). Take a walk up another hill with Rezani, the nearly 3 year old. She's very cute. Her brothers catch up with us before they go to school- they start at 7am. Have a quick breakfast, check out the loom- the mum and Hamid's wife are working on a carpet, and then head off. Hamid's mum has prepared a bowl of water with some leaves which she douses the car with- it's a Persian custom to ensure a safe journey. It is 0739. A big 24 hrs.
We drive in a generally north easterly direction, past Qasem Abad, past pistachio gardens, past the 200 AD Sasanian ruins, past the turn off to Chak -Chak, past more pistachio plantations, odd fertile patches, more fort remains, a fox (!!), a bunch of sheep, past Vali Asar and Herat, past a truck laden with melons, entering Kerman Province at 10 am.
Arrive at the ancient village of Meymand at 1030. It is super dry. It initially appears deserted but as we round the bend the car park is full of RV's. Turns out the group of 20 vehicles are doing a 6 month drive through the Stans, Russia and Iran. They are mostly from Germany and Holland and are having a great trip. Interesting stuff that people do! They leave and all of a sudden it's deserted again. We wander through the village of 406 residential caves, it's a UNESCO site, has been occupied for more than 2000 years but I don't see any signs of life. Perhaps most people have already moved on for the impending winter?? There are signposts for a hotel, a shop and a museum but it's all closed up. At the very end of the village we see signs of life- actually of sleep, an old lady is fast asleep under a tree. She wakes up as we pass and Hosein asks if I can see her cave. Poor thing, she's about 100 and she was having a great sleep. She hobbles to her cave and let's me in, it's surprisingly large with a couple of
Pomegranate trees everywhere in the village
rooms off the main one. The electricity is connected and she has a fridge, light, etc- not sure what I expected. We 're back in the car by 1130.
The afternoon brings a huge copper mine, the town of Anar, police radars (fixed and hand held), flat and dry terrain, a totalled car wreck, the village of Bahadaron in the foothills of the Zagyros and finally a truck stop where we take a lunch break. At 2:45 we're in Mehri's Kebab Shop eating chicken kebab and rice with yoghurt. Hits the spot. Mehri is a big, tough looking truckie guy with 2 canaries that sing their way through lunch and through the Islamic TV station broadcasting the sing song prayers that I have come to enjoy listening to. Only 80km more until we reach Yazd. Today's road trip is a total of 480km (750km in 2 days). The Zagros mountains keep us company for much of the last stint of driving. They are on both sides of the road and look ripe for walking. A railway line also emerges- note to self- wouldn't mind a train trip.
Arrive into Yazd after 4pm. Staying at the Kohan Traditional Hotel
for 2 nights ($25/night inc bf). It looks great- small, central pond, lots of seating, tea on tap 24 hrs, wifi (in the lobby) and a friendly guy at the reception desk. Hosein heads off after a cuppa- can't believe he's driving back to Shiraz tonight. I settle in and have a very nice hot shower (first for 2 days- the homestay village only has public showers in the next village) before discovering the roof top. A big, bright nearly full moon. Very cool view.
I think it's going to be a great couple of days. Meymand http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/kerman/maymand.htm Kohan Traditional Hotel http://kohanhotel.ir/en/
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