Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, October 1, 2005

As I explained in the last log, Bam was hit by a massive earthquake on the 26th of December 2003. In fact, at Tadek's wedding, we met a couple who had left Bam on the 25th of December. What was even more of a coincidence was that they left Phuket on the 25th of December 2004 !!! Spooky !!!

We went the shared taxi ride to Bam, and as usual, the price was sky high, until we told them we would walk the 175 Klm's !!! Once a proper price was agreed, we were driven to the bus station and dropped off. It was quite concerning because there were still buildings half standing, nearly two years after the earthquake. We negotiated another fare and was driven to Akbar's Tourist Guest House. This is the only place that is open that caters for tourists like us. In fact, his pensione had fallen down and two tourists had been killed. He explained this to us quite early on. He gave us lunch and a double room, and then drove us down to the Arg. Now we though that Rayen was good, and then we saw the ruins of Bam. This is a mud citadel that is 6 square Klm's in size. We walked through the walls and followed the path. I have been to death camps and old battlefields, but I have never seen anything like this. There was no noise, and even though nobody died in the Arg, you could feel death walking in this city. Now I bullshit a lot in my stories, but I kid you not, I nearly broke down and cried. It can not be explained. I have never experienced emotion like this before. We took some photos and then walked out, back through the town, looking for a restaurant so we could eat dinner. All around, was rubble. It did not look like there had been much cleaning up of Bam. Eventually, we found a place, and whilst eating, we saw a boy on a motorbike hit a small child. The boy looked at him on the ground and then just rode off. Typical of this country. Once back, we started to talk to two ladies who were from Germany and Holland. They were both doctors and were doing some work in Bam. I asked them about the rubble and why were people still living in tents and containers nearly two years on and they explained that the government would not help the people !!! Unbelievable

The next morning, we went back to the Arg for some morning photos. We noticed that a rope which had been attached yesterday, was now down. We walked through and along paths, that maybe we should not be walking down. We saw even more than before. The destruction can not be explained. UNESCO are meant to be rebuilding this. Personally, I think they need to bulldoze it flat, keep the dirt to make the new mud bricks and start again. Normally, I do not agree with this statement, but it is the only way I can see going forward. We finished up our extended tour, and on the way back, we watched one car run into the back of another. What a day !!!

We decided on one more day in Bam. We had nothing else to do, but at least we could put some more money in Mr Akbars pocket !!! He took us for a drive around the area, and we managed to find two people from Belgium for him. He also took us to his new house. He was trying to get on with his life, but he did explain that he was lucky as he had lost many friends

That was Bam. It was good, but very sad at the same time. I do hope to go back, as I would like to see Bam, rebuilt

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