I cannot recall how many times, during my various plane journeys from Europe to Asia and back, I looked down from the small airplane window and marveled about the vast and never-ending deserts that cover most of the Middle East. These huge amounts of sand bear no trace of civilization. I have often wondered about the feeling of being on an endless stretch of dry, sandy land. When this year I had the opportunity to visit Iran, I immediately included in my itinerary interesting cities and archeological sites like Persepolis, but you can bet one of my main goals was to go to an area of desert, hopefully one not touched by mass tourism. And to have a real Iran outback experience.
You must know that when I travel abroad, especially in a country or area I have not visited before, I enjoy nature, I try local food, but most of all I love to meet local people and get to know about their culture. I am so eager to learn about their life experiences but also to hear their point of view about the world and how they see the civilized world that seems so far from there, especially in a remote area of a country whose citizens have a hard time to be allowed to travel.
After a few days inside Iran, I found myself in Yazd, one of the most ancient cities situated in the heart of the country. I was exploring my phone map on satellite mode, looking for an interesting desert to visit or a mountain to hike, when my attention was drawn to a specific point in the map, pretty far from cities, very close to high mountains and surrounded by desert and desolated land. I couldn’t believe it when, in the middle of nothing, a pin was indicating Hamid Rahmani Tours and Homestay. I searched this name on Google and the information I got – https://hamidrahmanitours.wordpress.com – indicated exactly the kind of experience I was looking for. After a quick phone exchange of information with Hamid, we fixed the pick-up time and location for the following day!
We left Yazd at 3pm, shortly after Hamid picked me up from my hostel. The plan was to travel by car for about 350km south-east and get to his homestay, situated in a small village in the Kerman province, at 2000 meters above sea level. During the journey, Hamid stopped at one of the several Iranian natural beauties: the Bafq Desert. The Bafq desert is a sandy desert 120km south east of Yazd; it is impressive how nature created this enormous mass of sand that contrasts with the landscape, making it look like a big sandy island in the middle of rocky mountains. Hamid gave me free time to wander while he took a nap, so I took the opportunity and climbed to the top of the biggest mountain, enjoying the sound of the wind while observing a magic sunset that stained the whole area with colorful lights. Moments like these make me aware how small human being is if compared with this great planet.
I then spent the night at Hamid Home Stay, and the morning after I climbed on the roof of his traditional house to admire the neighborhood around me: rows of houses traditionally built, some of them dating up to 500 years ago. The village is a mix of ancient houses and renovated dwellings, but in the end, all are built respecting the traditional architecture. What an explosion of energy I got from this morning view.
The fresh and clean air made me hungry, or maybe it was the wonderful reviews I had read about the delicious food Hamid’s wife prepares for the guest. My expectation was fully satisfied, and during the following two days I had the pleasure to taste her local fresh food, each meals a different dish cooked with love and care.
Hamid offered me several tours during my stay. I was to discover the real life of a village so far from ‘civilization’, I met local people, I was introduced to Islam religion inside a 200 years old mosque, I slept in an old but nicely renovated traditional house, I climbed rocky mountains reaching stunning views 3000 mt above sea level and I learned about how global warming is changing and devastating entire communities in this part of the globe that year by year sees its water disappear.
But the nicest experience I had in Iran was riding a motorbike in the desert along desolated lands and mountains through roads created somehow centuries ago. Maybe it’s because I am a motorbike lover, or perhaps because my heart expands in front of so much unlimited nature. During the way, I inhaled the smell of herbs that only grow at this altitude, and the dust I left behind me gave me that feeling that I was looking for.
I am going to miss Hamid family and I treasure so much the experience I gained during this tour. I am so glad I had the chance to experience a real Iran outback experience!