Travels in Iran – Eqlid and Kahkaran
We were heading up to the mountains to stay with a local family in a village called Bishapur. First though was an overnight stay in the town of Eqlid. This isn’t a tourist town and we attracted a lot of interest. Everyone wanted to practice their English on us. One man pushed his daughter towards us, to speak to us. We were visiting the old mosque tonight. Two young girls followed us, taking lots of photos. At the mosque were many old ladies outside.
Some of the women were pointing at me. I was worried I had done something to offend, or maybe my headscarf wasn’t covering enough or my hair. They then bekoned me over, made a space and pulled me into the middle of them. Then out came their cameras, what they wanted was a photo with me!
It was still a very friendly and interesting town.
Dinner in Eqlid
Dinner was at a traditional and very beautiful restaurant with a waterwheel, little bridge and beautiful beds. The food as usual was fresh and fantastic.
The following morning we had a little time to walk around. As always everyone greeted us, we saw some of the ladies we met at the mosque yesterday, they were happy to see us. We found a local shop selling beautifully adorned copper items, so lots of shopping was done.
We came across a lovely little coffee shop. On the walls were lots of messages on post it notes.The owner was chuffed that we added a couple in English.
The ensuing drive was very windy and bumpy and like a sauna in the back on the minibus, which was struggling to get up some of the hills. The last one was a hill too far and we walked. En-route we stopped off to visit a family of nomads.
Staying with a Local Family
We are staying with a local family and I got a warm welcome from the family dogs.
We were welcomed with tea in a tent.
A Mountain Walk
There was just time for a walk before dark. It was a beautiful walk up the mountain, with lovely light and great views. One of the local women took a liking to me and wanted to take me home with her. Unfortunately I had to decline as it was dinner time.
Dinner was delicious, lentil soup, zucchini and other vegetables cooked in 24 spices, accompanied by fresh bread and pickled cauliflower. It was so delicious I had 6 helpings.
After dinner the fun began. I was dressed up in local clothes much to everyone’s hilarity. The first green number made me look like one of those dolls they used to put over toilet rolls! I rocked the blue number though. After this I led a Zumba class, then some traditional dancing and a round of national anthems, Iranian, British and Australian.
Our host Nasi is from Shiraz but lives in the village with her husband and in-laws. She still works in Shiraz 3 days a week, teaching young people about conservation. Tonight we watched her wedding video. There were 1,200 guests and it lasted for 7 days. The bride wears a white wedding dress, there is lots of dancing and alcohol is served, although technically this is illegal.
Tonight we slept on mattresses on the floor. We are high in the mountains and the temperature had dropped dramatically but the wool blankets kept me nice and toasty. We got up early so we could have a walk around the village before breakfast. I saw the woman from last night and she would have quite happily kidnapped me on the tractor she was driving. As always everyone was really friendly and interested in us.
The only thing I found difficult was the state of some of the donkeys.
When we were at the nomad camp, the donkey looked so forlorn and when I went towards it it flinched. I did manage to win it round.
It was back for breakfast with home made bread, cheese and carrot jam, which I’d never had before, but was bloody lovely. It was time to say our goodbyes and head back to Shiraz for my last day in Iran. There was one extra stop on the way back. Our lovely driver invited us to meet his family. As always the hospitality was overwhelming.