Once again on the road together, it was not so long that we were separated but it felt like an eternity. Somehow we managed to leave Tehran to go south, towards the historical cities of the Persian Empire and looking for a bit of warmth.
Getting out of the capital was not very easy; you can’t just follow a map and try to go straight: so many turns, dead end streets and horrible traffic, so we left by the highway. Maybe it’s not allowed, who knows, but even the police waved at us when they passed by.
When we got out of the city center everything starts looking much more deteriorated, and if you take your European way of thinking you would not feel safe, but in Iran it’s not dangerous, it’s how it normally looks and people are amazingly friendly.
The first night we saw some kind of building with a really big yard and we asked if we could sleep there, unfortunately they were army barracks, so no luck. But we stayed there a bit longer, talking to them, and at the end they took us to sleep to a trailer, one km away, next to the police station. It even had heating! It was great because nights are still a bit cool.
The next day we found the weirdest thing of the Persian roads. There is a two way road, but on the sides there are more roads that go parallel which are blocked, at least for cars (not for us). These side roads are even better paved and basically no traffic, just perfect!
Even though it’s not supposed to be desert, it looked quite like a desert to me. Suddenly a sign warning us that they might be camels ahead … And exactly on that moment Javi screamed “Camels!!”. Around 10 camels eating next to the road! There was one a bit closer, so we tried to get to him, to take some cool pictures, but unfortunately he run away really slowly, so we only managed to get crappy pictures (And somehow we can find them, so just imagine a really big and beautiful camel;)).
We continued on that road and then a car came, probably the first one in 1 hour, and after passing us, came backwards and gave us some food boxes! We couldn’t believe it! Some rice for me, and chicken for Javi.
As the day went through another car came and stopped us. Inside an old farmer and his wife tried to get us to show them some kind of document. We couldn’t really understand. He seemed like it was a big deal, and he started calling I don’t know who. As we didn’t understand and just seemed trouble we left. At the beginning he didn’t let us, but he could not stop us for long. That’s the last thing we knew about it. We still wonder what that was.
Eventually we arrived to Qom, a city on the way we just wanted to cross, but as we saw the huge domes of the mosque, we knew we had to stop for the night. We found a really cheap hostel and we visited that afternoon and a bit of the next morning.
It turns out that this is one of the holiest cities in Iran, and the mosque it’s built around the mausoleum of one of Ayatollah Reza’s daughter, Fatima. Next to it it’s the most important madrassa (Islamic school), in the whole country. We visited everything, not knowing that we were not allowed to, I guess we really look Persians!
The next day, after leaving the city and camping in the middle of nowhere, I asked Javi:
– Do you have the passports?
– No, do you?!?!
We had forgotten them at the hotel! They asked them to take our names, and we forgot to ask for them back! We threw a coin and it was my luck to go back. Hitchhiking and by bus, in two hours I was back with them.
In a way it was a really bad feeling, thinking that we had lost our passports, and that we would have to go to the embassy to get new ones, paperwork … but they were there! I hope this teaches us to be more careful! Still after some time in Iran we had the feeling that nobody steals and that the people are really nice (sometimes too much;)).