Camping all alone in the desert at Varzaneh & Qeshm

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By Anna Brinks, SYI Facebook Group Member

Hi. Just wanted to do a quick review of my recent amazing trip to Iran. My friend works in a radio station here in Ireland and will be interviewing me about my trip later this week. I’ll try and post it here if possible. Firstly let me say that the kindness and the hospitality of the people were by far the highlight of the trip. Be proud of yourselves for being such a lovely nation of people. In my four weeks I travelled south to north up the centre of the country. My favorite spots were Qeshm, (camping on a tiny island in the mangroves was definitely the best thing about my entire trip!), The Lut desert, Yzad, and camping all alone in the desert at Varzaneh even though everyone insisted it would be too cold (never too cold for a tough Irish girl! 😂😂) Thanks to Mojtaba Mosavi for arranging the camping for me and for a wonderful day in the desert and at the salt lake. Unfortunately I didn’t get to the north west where I would have loved to do some hiking. There is so much more that I missed so I will definitely have to return some day. Thank you to everyone in this group who helped me in any way and if I did a tour or something with you and I still haven’t written you a review please send me a reminder. I have been very fortunate to have been able to travel quite a bit and I can honestly say that Iran has been the safest and easiest country I have ever travelled through and most definitely has the kindest and most helpful people.

I hope nobody is offended but I also think it is important to write about the bad things. There really are very few. Firstly, as was discussed in a recent post here, the litter is awful and would be one of the few things that would make me consider not returning. Related to this is the waste of plastic. One shop gave me five separate plastic bags for five items. I took everything out, put them into my backpack and returned the plastic bags. One other thing that is not really a bad thing, it’s just a difference in culture. I had read in my guide book that it’s quite normal to be asked personal questions including how much you earn so I was quite prepared for this. I know that guests are very important to Iranians and that you would never want to offend your guests. As a result I thought that I should mention this in case anyone was not aware of it. In my country (and while I can’t say for certain but I’m pretty sure a lot of more western countries) it’s extremely rude and very embarrassing to ask people how much they earn. I wasn’t offended as I knew nobody was trying to be rude but I just thought I should mention it so that nobody may unintentionally embarrass their guests. It’s also not unusual for us to either not get married until later in life or sometimes not at all. I never intend to get married and while I have no problem with someone asking me if I am married or not it gets very annoying when people keep trying to tell you that you should be married. I completely understand that again, this is a cultural difference, but I’m not joking, I was literally asked hundreds of times why I’m not married and this becomes extremely tiring and difficult. One guy asked me if I’m not married and I don’t have a boyfriend then do I have sex? Since it was just one person who asked me this, I assume that he’s just a creep and this is not something you would usually ask. That was literally the only bad experience I had in the entire trip. Those things are minor though and I really had an absolutely amazing trip. Thank you all and keep up the good work helping tourists in this group!

 

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