Iranian deserts: dunes, salt and caravanserais

by • 3 April, 2014 • Uncategorized • Comments (0)1226

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After Isfahan we were ready for some quiet place, a more peaceful spot where we could just ride our bikes. That’s why we decided to go to Garmeh, an oasis described in the Lonely Planet as “the oasis you imagine when you close your eyes”. We were eager to explore the nothingness till the oasis of our dreams.

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The first two days they were relatively boring, on a big road, with lots of traffic and smoke, not too much place, so we tried to speed a bit. During these two days the only thing that took our minds from the road is the multiple collision, in which the whole biziklautak team fell to the ground.

My front wheel slipped and unable to control the rest of the bike I fell sideways. Immediately, remembering that there was lots of traffic, I looked back, to check if any cars were coming, but the only thing I saw was Javi’s bike falling over mine, and a split of a second later Javi himself falling over me. We didn’t get hurt, and after checking that nothing broke we had a good laugh and we bought some fruits in the greengrocery in front of which we had fallen.

Many kilometers later, in a small town, a car made us signs to stop, that he wanted to talk to us. We were a bit skeptical at first, not being sure of what he wanted, but we did, and it’s something that shaped our trip to Yazd in a really positive way.

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He was a guide, and he recommended us not to go to Garmeh, as it was really touristic, the same as Naein (where the underground mill sounded really interesting), and that they were not as nice as described in Wikipedia or the Lonely Planet. Instead he told us to go through some sand dunes, a salt lake and a caravanserai.

We were not sure if to trust him, but at the end we decided to change our plans. I don’t know how great Naein or Garmeh are, but the way we chose was definitely astonishing.

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The first night we got close to the sand dunes, but unfortunately, a river (yes, a river in the middle of the desert. We were amazed too!) didn’t let us get to them. So we camped next to the river with a really nice view across to the dunes. It was a pity, but we didn’t manage to cross the river, so we only saw the sand dunes from far away.

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The salt lake was quite impressive. The water was very low so most of the way we could only see white. We got some salt, as we were running low, and it seems to be extra salty, with just a little bit we managed to cook almost uneatable salty rice.

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But for sure the best thing was the caravanserai. A lonely caravanserai 50 kilometers away from the next village through an unpaved road. It’s definitely one of the best places where we’ve camped. A caravanserai just for us, I still can’t really believe it as I write this!

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We had prepared ourselves for several days of desert. We took lots of liters of water, but at the end we got out with more water than we had got in with. It’s true that there were no towns, but some truck drivers and people in some isolated houses filled our bottles. So by the time we got to Yazd, we were heavier than when we left Isfahan.

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These few days were really some of the most remarkable of the whole trip. I highly recommend this route to anyone coming close to here, so I’m leaving a map of this. If you find out the name of this caravanserai please tell us, we didn’t so far!


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