Saturday, 24 September 2016

Day 80: Hamedan to Kashan. 384km 6.5hours, 20°-35°

In the morning we looked out the window.
There was a line of tents along the footpath and tents scattered through the park.
People I met last night were staying the night.
We could have pitched out tent and joined them.

Some men folk were sleeping on mats on the concrete footpath with thick rugs covering them. 
Women, children and babies were inside the tents.
Come and meet some of them before we ride through the desert to Kashan.



Three generations sleeping in tents alongside each other.
The tent folds very easily into a circle and can be stowed in the boot of the car of on the roof. After breakfast the mats and blankets are folded. Everything is packed away after an overnight camping holiday in the town park.


Father and son slept outside. Mother, daughter and grandchildren were inside the tent. Other members of the family were in a. Tent next door. They were cooking breakfast over a kerosine stove.
They offered me tea.
I felt so welcome that I was reluctant to leave.

 Hamedan is an ancient city - perhaps 1100BC at the time of the Assyrians. It is the only continuously inhabited city in the world. It is mentioned by Herodotus as a city in the kingdom of the Medes in 700BC.
In the Bible, in book of Ezra, Hamedan is mentioned  as the place where a scroll in which King Darius gave Jews permission to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem was found.
Hamedan is also where the burial  site of Esther and her cousin Mordechai is claimed to be located.
It has very cold winters snow and temperatures up to -30°C
 My navigator, driver, logistics manager and all time amazing husband, Dick who delivers me from friends to new friends every hour and a half each day on the road.


Motorcycles pass through the toll gates for free. All we need is a separate pathway...
We have seen no alcohol n Iran.
Dick gets to have a 'beer' anytime of the day. Fruit flavoured faux beer. He seems to like the lemon flavour best.
There are no sugar free soft drinks. Coca Cola is made under licence and Pepsi.
Some petrol station stores have only soft drinks and water available for sale.
I make sure my tramping Camel water pack is full each morning before we set off. At least i start with 1.5l of water and can top it up.
We are no in true desert.No crops.

Houses made with thick walls of mud and straw. Thorny bushes.

We come across some small town en route.
This bus is doing its best on the hilly and winding roads.



We occasionally see trucks carrying the limbs and small branches of trees.
After the revolution in 1979 it is estimated that 80% of the forested were destroyed.  School children have been involved in reforestation programmes over the last decade.
Dick navigated his way through the lace-patterned  street map.
 He located this narrow alley.

Of Hotel Eshan where the walls are made of mud and straw.



Our room for the night.
In a restored historic caravanserai, Hotel Eshan, in Kashan.
Over the centuries traders on the Silk Road between Asia and Europe have stayed at this caravanserai.
We are in good company.



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