impressions in black and white
on the go
photos. unedited. rough. from the moment.
We are packing again and moving to our next hotel in Iranshahr. On that route we pass by several smaller villages. Our route from now on is always close to the border of Pakistan.
In this area there is a strong presence of heavily armed police. Smuggling seems to be a major enterprise in this region and apparently goes both directions: Gas is heavily subsidised in Iran, thus extremely cheap. So it makes economic sense to smuggle gas from Iran to Pakistan. The other way round, from Afghanistan and Pakistan drugs are smuggled into Iran.
From what we hear, unfortunately a significant number of the local population is addicted to opiates themselves.
I didn't feel very comfortable to make a lot of pictures on this gas station among a lot of grim looking men. However, I observed something I have not seen before like that.
Looking at this photo, the obvious but irrelevant question is: why on earth is there a collapsed metal rig between petrol pumps and station building. More importantly and ghastly was observing the boys. I have not seen that before. The boy on the left side of the photo holds a plastic bottle in his hands.
In fact, a number of boys had bottles cut in half and were cajoling the adults and begging for gas. At least they tried to collect the last drops that fall out of the pump nozzle after fuelling the cars. They collected drops and minor amounts of gas (spending their day in the fumes) to sell it later on the street.
Finally we visited a crocodile station. In this part of Iran there are sweet water crocodiles. But as the river runs dry the crocodiles can't survive in their natural habitat and a crocodile station tries to protect this species. Again, saddening to see that the large cages are littered by soda bottles and stuff like that, visitors throw in to get the attraction of the crocodiles.
Heading towards the most southern point of Iran. Again a long road trip, passing by the so called Pink Wetlands. Wetlands I have seen. Pink? Not so much.
And again a reminder: click on photos to show them enlarged and prettily framed.
Finally we reach the sea. Amazing geological structures – weird mountains, in other words, while turtles breed on the beach.
Stop for lunch at a private home again. We always felt very welcomed.
Children usually were interested, but kept a distance. Here – not so much. They were, let's say, rather persistent. Hanging on the driving car for one.
We went for dolphin watching with small boats again. Dolphins we did not see. Unfortunately though trash again on the beach and fish that was caught but not used.
On the way back again. And this was maybe the most amazing part. Intense landscape. Speaking of which. B/W comes to a limit at that point. So just take it as a promise, and return, as soon as the color photos are embedded into the regular section of this site.
Driving up a cliff where the rocks break off like butter cut with a knife. And down, where the butter ends, a small harbour. And not to forget, tea in the end made by experts.
Eventually a last stop to embrace the landscape – and tea.
I certainly listen to my audience. (Yes, this would be you, Robert.) More ships and wrecks are demanded – here they come. Back from the bazaar, I jump out of our car and walk the last kilometre to the hotel along the small harbour.
Visit to a mud volcano that decides to annoy me by exploding mud at the moments I am not shooting. My CL is very patiently bursting shots until I get a half decent one. Unfortunately not the one, where the Iranian tourist was covered in mud...
Anyways. Then further to a village, where we go by boat to a sand dune. Very impressive. Very hot too. I try to scale the dune with bare feet. Turns out: not such a great idea. Water cooling required soon. And shoes.
Back in the village. We are invited at a local family for a nice lunch. After lunch the ladies are invited to sit with the women of the house – and I have to stay with the dudes. Boring.
On it goes to Chabahar, a free trade zone like Qeshm, located on the south coast of Iran on the gulf of Oman. We'll stay here for some days as a base camp for the next activities.
Food shopping for a picknick on the beach. We have the beach for us, except for –and this goes for most of the trip – large amounts of trash. Everywhere. On the ferries to Hormoz for instance one observes trash floating everywhere on the ocean. And the same is true for the beach and most other locations you visit. This is in fact a horrible outlook for our future.
click on photos to enlarge
Finally we arrive in Chabahar and go to the bazaar.
After heat and rocks at Hormoz, we go back to Bandar Abbas in the evening. Eating nice fish and visiting the (fish) market.
A long day ahead, including two ferries, so we leave at five o'clock with the ferry from Qeshm island to Bandar Abbas for a (still early) breakfast.
Then to the next ferry: from Bandar Abbas to the island of Hormoz.
All right, at this point I have to confess: the most fascinating aspects of this island, the impressively coloured rock formations are not entirely compatible with black and white. Hence, you'll have to wait for the colour renditions here.
It is freaking hot, and walking in the sun I nearly collapsed. The wonderful Café Gelak and the impressive museum and culture initiative of Dr. Nadalian come to the rescue.
A last comment on food, which is interestingly different in the south of Iran compared to the north. Food is spicier, (obviously) more fish and shrimp is offered and one feels the influence from Pakistan, e.g. in the street foot like Samosa filled with different things or Pakora.
This lady is frying (among other things) Samosa.
The gentleman in the picture above is frying Pakora, in the picture below a kind of Pakistani burger as he proudly explained in details. Both on the bazaar in Chabahar.
Obviously, there is no trip to Iran without one of the signature dishes, Kebab. One of the best (goat) kebabs of the trip we had in Qeshm.