‘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?