I published on the Couchsurfing portal my planned route to Mashhad and offered a free place in my jeep. Sahid was calling and asked me to join me after Damghan. Between Yazd and Damghan are 650km pure desert: The Kavir desert. Sahid recommended me to make a stop in the oasis Garmeh and ask for Maziar who owns a guesthouse. When I arrived there I met a couple from Germany who went to Iran with their car as well. We met three weeks before at the border of Armenia to Iran. The recommended me to stay as they discovered a little bit of paradise at this place. So I stayed.
I strolled through the oasis, ate dates from the palm trees and climbed the nearby mountain from where I enjoyed the sunset over the oasis. In the guesthouse Maziar was playing some relaxing music after a delicious dinner.
I spent the night at the roof of the guesthouse where they placed my mattress. Under an infinite sky of stars and the snoring of my neighbor I was falling satisfied asleep.
I made a short trip to the sand desert of Mesr and met Sahid the next day in Damghan. Sahid is 42, telecommunication engineer, has slightly grey hair and lived for a long time in Europe. That’s we he speaks a very good German. He worked the last years in control centers in mines and oil platforms. Now he got rid of these jobs and enjoys himself doing ecotourism. He found with me another possibility to discover his country.
We organized something to cook and drove to the Abr-Forest. Directly on the border to the kavir desert are parts of the Alborz mountain range. It’s a place with rainfall all over the year, just a few kilometers away from the desert. Thanks to 4-wheel drive we went up a hill and arrived there at sunset time. We choose that as our night camp which almost was a mistake. Because at night came a storm with heavy rainfall which made the paths muddy and extremely hard to drive. With the help of locals I was sliding down the hill and was happy that I survived this without damages.
We continued to Mashad. On the way Sahid was sharing his knowledge about the plants, the animals and the stones. We had a long discussion about the pollution in the country. “Thanks to the oil and gas Iran is a rich country. They see no sense and money in the waste industry. The waste is not being separated and comes from all of the country to a dump close to Tehran. The soil there is damaged for years. As long as there is no solution for that it is better to spread the waste”. You could see that at the streets in the country where waste is forming a natural wall left and right from the road, also in the beautiful Golestan National Park on our way to Mashad.
Iranians are the kings of camping. When they drive a long distance they put tent and damping equipment in a big rag and put it on the roof of their car. I could see that on every second car on the road. And the camp in the parks of the cities which is unimaginable for us Europeans. I wanted this experience so we spent the night in the city park of Shirvan before we continued to Mashad.