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CONTRABAND

Our journey takes us to Western Iran and its border with Iraq, a predominately Kurdish region. It is a mountainous sparsely inhabited area with tracks that seem to lead nowhere, or so we thought. Numbering over 20 million, the Kurds are one of the largest non-state nations in the world. Their homeland, Kurdistan, has been…

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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…

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Fault Lines

Our trip to Tehran left us with many questions which we are unable to answer. What we are acutely aware of is that is not our place to pass judgement but rather to observe without prejudice. And remind ourselves that so often perceptions weigh at least as heavily as facts. And herein lies the conundrum….

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High on a Hill

On the slopes of the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran  a remarkable village dating back to 1006 ,  Masuleh , still bustles with life today. The unique ochre-brown structures of Masuleh resolutely follow the steep 60-degree slope of the mountain that the village nestles on—or rather, grows from—giving the village its most unusual quality…

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Time Warp

I often listen to music while riding and a song called Time Warp ( Rocky Horror Picture Show) rings true as we pass through Armenia and Northern Iran. “It’s astounding; Time is fleeting; Madness takes its toll” With its gray identikit buildings, cars from another era and a pace of life long forgotten one could…

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Sea Legs

As a child I had a fascination for ships and anything that floats. In those days the government harbour and rail agency, the SAR & H (South African Railways and Harbours) controlled everything – they even had their own drab olive green uniform police force with standard issue snor (moustache). It was this police force…

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Over, Opulence

Cast your mind back to 1989. The Cold War was ending, The Berlin Wall was coming down and satellite Soviet States were demanding democracy. Mass protests and revolutions in the streets caused communist regimes to fall in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and on and on. Perhaps you remember watching this, in South Africa, on…

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Making Amends

It has been 6 years since we last rode our Dakar’s and we wondered how the bikes would be after such a long period of inactivity, not helped by our friends in Germany reminding us that they are kaput. One could argue that these are inanimate objects but for us they very much alive. Cherish…

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The Killing Fields: Mending Lives

We are not the first people to tell this story. It does not make for easy reading. But it is a story that needs to be retold as a reminder of the depths that humanity can sink to, then and in today’s conflicts. When will we ever learn from the past? Cambodia’s Killing Fields After…

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A Secret War in the World’s most Bombed Country

Travelling is a funny thing. No matter where you go, there you are. And being there exposes you to issues. Some good, others disturbing. An issue on this trip has been the many forms of religion, and its heart , FAITH- a belief in an ideology , someone or something. And how they do or…

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