Trip Start Apr 06, 2007
33Trip End Nov 18, 2007
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Passing into Iran was seemless - all the girls had the correct clothing (headscarfs, long sleeves and trousers/full length skirts) and all the paper work went without a hitch - shame the first bushcamp wasn't seemless
On our way to Masouleh we spent a night beneath Babak Castle and a night on the Caspian coast a few miles from Azerbaijan. Babak Castle was a ruined castle at the top of a steep mountain - good to get some exercise for once. Near Babak we got our first shock of Iranian prices: 5 kebabs, 6 drinks and 7 munchies came to just two pounds fifty!! More amazingly diesel is 1 percent of the price it is in Britain!
Driving through Northern Iran showed us how lush it was and the amount of rice padis it has, surprising because all I thought before coming was deserts and mountains. Masouleh was a small touristy (as tourism goes in Iran) town with a small bazaar and mud brick buildings that stepped up the hillside. The entrance to one building was the roof of another. We spent two nights here smoking hookah pipes in cafes and chatting to locals and tourists from Tehran. A young woman (22) from Tehran asked me why I would come to Iran and whether I was scared of its people or not. I just told her that we just have to look beyond the news to see what Iran is really like. The girl wore her headscarf as far back as it would go, lots of makeup and appeared to have a nose job - according to the guide book these were token attributes of young women wanting to show as much liberalism in a country where various religios based etiquettes are forced through law. At one point she even took her headscarf off to show her displeasure at having to wear it, though her husband didn't appear too happy about that. I was to experience much more of the Iranian friendliness and how politically minded they all are in Esfehan...