Iran - Yazd - Kerman PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Thursday, 09 April 2009 10:04
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Day 25: Yazd to Kerman Wednesday 17th October

This is now my third attempt at this blog. The other two have both been deleted as a result of my poor eyesight, the bouncing bus and my gross stupidity. I am really intent on making it has hard as possible.

Anne misread her watch believing it to be 6.30am. Her eyesight is no better than mine, it was actually 7.30am. Dozed back off watching the sun beam through what passes for Persian stained glass windows in a celebration of colour. Breakfast was another buffet, good but not as good as the hotel in Tehran which for me set the standard for this country. Nevertheless this is the most atmospheric and the favourite of the youngsters and has served the best dates so far coated in coconut. Unfortunately there was no cereal to go with them.

As soon as we finished breakfast Vali was waiting to lead any willing participants on another tour of the town. This time we are taking in the bazaar, the 750 year old Friday mosque (more explanation later) Alexander the Great's Prison and the old town's passageways. I have said all I can about bazaars. This was good. The mosque was beautiful, with blue tiles and underground wash house facilities and had the status of a cathedral with more than one entrance, learning and community facilities hence the status of Friday mosque.

The passageways and the houses were far more interesting. Made of mud and straw they were designed to make the most of shade and the water cooled air ventilation system I told you about yesterday. These alleys are ideal to sit and talk and relax in the blistering heat of the summer according to Vali. As we walked around I noticed a series of round wooden handles, like pick handles, set horizontal in the wall above head height. When I asked Vali what they were for he replied as though everyone knows. Those are where the house owner ties the ropes of the canvas tents that cover the courtyards for special occasions. All along these alleyways were very old doors that gave no indication of the interior. Each door had two knockers, one a single strip of metal and the other a curved knocker. The two knockers when used gave two different sounds one to let the occupants of the house know whether it was a man or women at the door. If it was a man then the man of the house would answer the door and if it was a women knocking vice versa. This custom is no longer followed.

After the prison which Vali doubts has anything to do with Alexander - he refuses to call him Great because he says even if he did enter Persia he was destructive and doesn't deserve the term - he took us to see an old man in his late 80s who has spent his life manually operating a handloom. The man looked not a day over 100 and was deaf from his existence and therefore couldn't hear me sing the chorus to Poverty, Poverty Knock which was probably a blessing in disguise.

Poverty, poverty knock,
My loom it is saying all day
Poverty, poverty knock,
The gaffer's too skinny to pay
Poverty, poverty, knock
I've always one eye on the clock
I know I can guttle when I hear my shuttle
Saying poverty, poverty knock.

We arrived back at the hotel just in time to shower, get to the coach and fulfil my last packing duty. Thank goodness because it is totally disorganised even by my standards. After a short drive we stopped to look at an ancient burial ground in the middle of the desert outside Yasd,

This was an amazing site, between 2000 to 4000 years old and consisted of a series of multi- dome structures below two round citadel type structures high on the top of two hills and over looking the whole sight. The Asyrian placed dead bodies in the two towers and left them to the vultures to strip them bare. The bones were then carried down to the dome structures and finally buried. Each of the dome structures belonged to different tribes. Many of the group walked up to the top of the nearest tower which was no mean feat in the heat of the day about mid 80s. However, there were those who felt a game of football was more important.

The rest of the journey to Kerman took a couple of hours and was, therefore, classed as a short drive. The hotel was adequate but not in the class of the others in Iran. It does, however, have the distinction of being the first hotel room of ours to have sink plugs, two actually. Unfortunately the water supply was so poor, especially the cold, that to run a bath would have taken more than an overnight stop.

We were promised a feast by the owner and a few of the lads had been down to the kitchens and seen meat balls and come back with high expectations of a Macdonald's type faire. It started once again with soup, followed by salad - interestingly as it was placed on the table the waiter said in English 'this is salad'. This was followed by beef in source, chicken kababs and as much non alcoholic beer as we could drink. The salad waiter kept holding up bottles and saying 'good beer'. When he said ‘this is called salad’ he was correct but not about the beer. This was by far the worst attempt at producing anything vaguely resembling alcohol. This stuff came straight out of camels and gives me the hump thinking about it. The dinner was interrupted by yet another appalling display of football by a group of overpaid con artists i.e the English team.

The football did, however, give us something to do that didn't need alcohol and I have to say that the lads are being quite ingenious at thinking of games to play to kill the time between here and that unsuspecting bar in Quetta in three days time. Tonight's little game was who would you eat first if we get stranded in the Baluchistan desert? Answers stretched from the largest to the prettiest and kept them amused for a couple of hours. Pre-dinner entertainment was provided by Ben who had allowed the young girls to straighten his very curly hair: I thought he looked like the incredible hunk whilst others thought he was wearing a wig. No surprisingly we went to bed bored at about 11.30pm.


Last Updated on Thursday, 09 April 2009 10:26