A Deafening Silence

‘A great silence overcomes me, and I would wonder why I ever thought to use language’

This is a well used line by Persian poet Rumi. He may have never been to the desert towns of north eastern Esfahan but his line could have been written specifically for them.

Dasht-e Kavir is one of two deserts dominating the landscape of eastern Iran. It is a mix of sand and salt that is as blinding in its whiteness as the desert is deafening in its total silence.

Within the desolate environs exist oases and life which surprises at every turn.

Here are a few pictures of our passage through this region

On the surface a dry parched region

Where a lack of water

Destroys communities

People used to live here

But if you follow these oil lines

Through the various moods and colours of the deserts

There is life . These wild camels

are not used to the sound of a motorcycle and take flight.

They can move when they want to and at pace as well

Min temp at night is 28 C going up to the late 40’s in the day. Every bit of shade helps.

Along the way

one is rewarded with oases rich in life

with ancient structures that have stood the test of time- some more than others

The Iranian friendliness is legendary and it’s no different here

Ongoing surprises. Here at the Gondom oasis something reminiscent of Bagdad cafe

Life has its own pace at Gondom

Water is a precious commodity and is channeled from underground springs

and is treated with the care it deserves

to produce fruit of remarkable quality

Which the locals give of freely, refusing payment of any sorts.

As we travel further more surprises, here pyramid dunes.

Lawrence of Arabia dunes

with what we think is a sand viper.

Its sand spitting cost us this camera. My feeble attempt to fix it with a leatherman

They can only be in search of water…

The last place one expects cockroaches, even if they have expired. Maybe these arrived by boat or missed the boat.

Who needs grass? Would give that outdoor gym a miss in these temperatures.

Unwanted surprises – dust storms that spring from nowhere . Thankfully we were on a good on a tar road here.

Homes are made from adobe & are quite porus in dust storms. It is safer to seek shelter underground.

A traditional Zoroastrian burial place. Dead bodies were placed here for the vultures to pick the corpse clean.The remnants such as bones and hair were then placed in the center hole and covered with lime.

Finding places is a hit and miss exercise. Left or right?

One is ever mindful of the lack of water so when you see a well it is welcomed

By animals and humans.

Near Garmeh the sand solidifies into sharp hard shards. My thoughts are about falling on this as it is razor sharp in places.

Eventually the shards morph into huge salt pans.

Had no idea salt raised ones energy levels- always thought it raised blood pressure….

Desert homes are are built from materials found on site such as these in Garmeh

Our Garmeh stopover

is a masterpiece in resourcefulness

that shrinks to hobbit size proportions inside.

The village is interconnected with low alleyways. This one becomes my garage.

Garmeh is totally reliant on this spring for its water

The spring from inside has crystal clear water

with fish that provide an exfoliating service.

Our room opens onto this. Goats will try eat anything you have. The camels are more circumspect.

At 45C + one needs to be cooled down

More resourcefulness. Walls from palm trunks

and shelters too.

I thought I had hit the jackpot by finding these two beer cans along the way. It turned out to be alcohol free and nothing what beer should be.

Which our room mates probably found amusing

Who needs beer anyway for a good nap?

9 Responses to A Deafening Silence

  1. gail van der mey

    This stage of your journey leaves me absolutely speechless; looking at the hardship of this journey to yourselves, your bikes, the people you saw and their endurance – JAN

  2. Anonymous

    Very dry and cracked soil,as well as very hot conditions. Adore the look of the mud houses we can really be thankful what we have in this country. Go well Debbie – Durban


    Thank you so much for sharing your interesting experiences – your comment “deafening silence” is so true when one is in the desert.

  4. gail van der mey

    what a variety of scenes and people and colour found in deserts. wonderful and what a hobbit like home you found to stay in. Lovely and amazing.

  5. rodney

    Your RR is absolutely fantastic. Seeing and reading about thimgs I thought I would never here about. Keep it up and a big thankyou

  6. Colin

    Wow! 28 C at night and late 40 C in the day.How does one survive such temperatures?. This desert area makes one learn to appreciate water more and not take this precious commodity for granted. Enjoy your travels All the best Colin from Durban.

  7. Paul and Philna

    Hi, I think your best post yet. Absolutely fascinating. I think adobe buildings are brilliant and beautiful and we have been doing it for 10 000 years! Camels that have to be cooled down with a hose, ships on wheels in the desert. Goats as neighbours, snakes that spit (?) at your camera. And most wonderful two people with the energy to see it! Lots of love, Paul and Philna

  8. MvdMey@T-online.de

    Great, Harry and Linda ! I did write you abour Iran before but it somehow got lost…. Linda, you can also be sure that we had our ex-partner informed about your coming ! In case of…
    Yes, Persia (almost 4000 years) old is an impressive country with unique moments for a fotos. I loved to see these. Imagine that in 1979 lot’s of half-naked hippies cued in Teheran for the busses for Afghanistan for the miniskirted girls in Kabul !
    In Teheran I met once a Persian, who told me that they we are “Arian” like us and that since the Islam came to Persia, things got only worse… You came at the right time as the Persian are afraid of a war between the socalled KSA and the US and Israel…. May this hororscenario not become true.

  9. Mike

    Lekker hot there and here it is lekker cold at the moment. Crazy that mud houses can be so permanent and last so long. I wonder if the salt is from a long dried-up sea?
    Thanks for sharing the amazing pics.

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