Thursday 24th, January 2018
Our host in Gerash, Mohsen, organised a group of friends for hiking. They planned everything for us and we were going to be the first foreigners to go hiking with them. In total we were 8 plus a donkey. Most of us had a backpack, and a lot of food as well. The helpful donkey carried all the food for us for three meals.
We arrived at the start of the track, placed our belongings onto the donkey and away we went. The track was well made but not as well made as the DoC¹ tracks back home. The ascend was steady and it was interesting seeing the donkey being directed when it veered off track.
Some of our hiking companions were paragliding pilots and they were looking out for jump off spots. We took a tricky path while the donkey took the easier route up. The tricky path revealed for us an amazing clifftop view of the mountain.
Soon enough we arrived at our hut. The Iranian huts are different from the ones back home. It was built using concrete, whereas in New Zealand they’re made of wood and tin roof. Our hut was called “Fatula” and had two sleeping cabins and two water reservoir. The water reservoir is an iconic building in this dry region. There are gutter around designed to catch rain.
The hut had a flat roof and an open fireplace inside. Our kebab was lemon chicken (on metal skewers), cooked over a wood/coal fire. Pheng helped placing the chicken on the skewers and it wasn’t as easy as it looked. The meat had to stay on the skewer firmly so after flipping it, it doesn’t hang heavy side down. Dinner was chicken kebab with fresh lemon juice on bread. Although both of us didn’t struggle and sweat much climbing up, everyone gave us a lot more to eat (as per Iran’s hospitality).
After the meal, we sat around and shared travel stories and had many laughs. Matt showed everyone his magic card tricks and almost scammed everyone out of their coins. It wasn’t too long until they figured out where the coin disappeared to.
Friday 25th, January 2019
We started the morning sharing stories over a campfire. It was a relaxing morning. For breakfast it was Persian scrambled eggs (not like the European way), cream, honey and bread. The guys taught us how to eat it.
- Grab a piece of the flat bread
- Slam it onto the scrambled egg that’s in the pan
- Grab the bread whilst pinching for some eggs
- Add cream and honey
- Fold the bread up and put it all in your mouth
We scored highly, getting 17/20 ² for our efforts.
It was time for a bit of fun on the donkey. Initially we didn’t want to ride the donkey feeling bad for it, but caved in to not be rude. It’s really amazing how much weight the donkey could carry. It was able to carry two adults for a short ride up the mountain and back. We only went on it once and that was enough for us.
The rubbish were well managed by our group. We felt happy they understand the importance of maintaining the rubbish so that future generations can enjoy the wonderful nature we have now. The pile of rubbish was set on fire and we even walked around collecting more we could see.
We packed up and got ready to head back down after lunch. On our way down, Matt shared his vision of reforesting the world – one farm paddock at a time. To our surprise, one of the hikers with us had attempted to plant 10,000 trees at the bottom of this mountain. The result was not very good.
我们打包了，准备好午饭后回来。在我们的路上，马特分享了他对森林重新造林的愿景 – 一次是一个农场围场。令我们惊讶的是，我们的一个徒步旅行者试图在这座山的底部种植一万棵树。结果不是很好。
Their first attempt was ruined after only a few days of planting. Someone had come to rip all the trees out. Extremely disappointed, they gathered volunteers again to plant another 10,000 trees at the same spot. They investigated and found out that person responsible for this laid claim for the land. It’s suspected they faked the documents for ownership of the land. Now the land sits empty, with holes in grids where saplings were. As we drove back home, they pointed out where they had planted the trees. It was covering a huge area. A great disappointment but nonetheless amazing to see initiatives from the people.
¹ DoC stands for Department of Conservation, a governmental department looking after NZ nature and wildlife
² Most western culture would grade things out of 10, in Iran it is out of 20!
[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 27.650458 lat 54.132569 long d3scr)