A nomad in the desert | Iran

A desert in Iran. A starry sky you won’t soon forget. The peace and quiet and the space. You’ll find that in the Dasht-e Lut desert.

Of course, there is more. The desert in Iran is still home to many ancient and extinct villages. From Yazd, we arranged that together with an Iranian guide, we went out to see some special places in the desert in Iran. In his car, he drove us to the most beautiful places. And what was nice, I didn’t always have to wear my headscarf. In the desert you can feel free, even in the car, to take off your headscarf. At least as long as there is no traffic. And there practically never is. Before we drove into the desert at all, our guide showed us how they make Iranian bread. This bread was really super tasty.

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Kharanakh our first stop in the Iranian desert

Our first stop was Kharanakh. A very old city. It is located about 85 km north east of Yazd . They say this village may be thousands of years old. And that it was first set up by the Zoroastrians during the Persian Empire. Special place to be. My imagination ran wild, how did these people live and what were their dreams and ideals? Wonderful to lose yourself in this.



After our visit to Kharanakh, we went deeper into the desert. We headed toward Garmeh. Just outside Garmeh, we visited a small hot spring. Here we smoked shisha and our guide told us that his wife does not like it when he smokes shisha. His wife also studied and they now have 1 child together. In Iran, when you work, you get. as a woman continue to be paid for 18 months after the birth of your child.



Sleeping under the stars

We continued our journey to Khoor. Pronounced -yes really- Goor. Here we ate our lunch in a small restaurant. We talked to several people there about the rules in Iran and politics. One of the women recounted her dissatisfaction with the mandatory wearing of headscarves and robes. She would like to go to Europe, at least there she can be free. Not getting prescribed life. I hear this more often during our trip. The Iranians we spoke to do not want to be required to dress a certain way. Logical, because in the late 1970s in Iran you could still just walk around in a short skirt and as a man in shorts.


At dinner, we had a typical experience as vegetarians. With wide eyes we watched a sauce in which floated all sorts of weird indefinable balls. With all good intentions they said, ” you can eat around the meat right?”. Uuuh yes…even if I were not a vegetarian, I would still scratch behind my ears and doubt the origin of this meat. Really appetizing it did not look. The desert in Iran welcomes you. Enjoy your meal. ;-).


Finally, we arrived at our sleeping place that night. The desert!

We slept in a tent in the middle of the desert. Without anyone else around. We were given our guide’s phone, because you never know. Although there wasn’t a whole lot of coverage. The stars and moon were incredibly beautiful. The starry sky was fantastic. One of the most beautiful I have seen. If you also want to sleep in the desert, bring warm clothes. It cooled off considerably. And the nice thing about the desert, I didn’t have to wear my headscarf.



Delicious, melon with bird droppings

After our adventures in the desert, we set out again the next morning. We went to see Chak Chak. Chak Chak is a place of pilgrimage for Zoroastrians. This sacred place is built against a mountain. After Chak Chak, we continued our way to the ancient Narin Castle in Maybood. Historic downtown Maybood is located 52 km north of Yazd. Narin castle is a pre-Islamic mud brick castle. Even the oldest mud brick castle in all of Iran. From the highest part of the castle you have a nice view of Maybood. Our guide also showed us the pigeon tower. These towers were built around the 16th and 17th centuries. The pigeons’ poop was used as manure to grow melon and cucumber. This is what Iranians loved at the time. During the heyday of the pigeon towers, for example, Isfahan had about 3,000 pigeon towers.

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After a long journey back to Yazd , I can only say one thing: the desert in Iran is beautiful! And then we only saw part of it.