Day 75: Sticking to principles

Kerman Travel Blog

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Kashayar is thinking buying (and then renovating) this traditional house

Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: Michael (Australia), Khashayar (Iran)

The last day Michael and I travelled together wasn't our most exciting. It was also our last day with Khashayar and he seemed more out of his mind than usual. He had promised to show us his village where he has his pistachio farm, but by the time he had completed his ritual in the bathroom it was too late to drive there and back (I had a bus to catch tonight).
He knew of another traditional village, closer, which he would be happy to show us, but in his absent-mindedness (and his loooong stories) he drove around Kerman for more than an hour before he remembered where he was going to in the first place. We drove to Mahan to have lunch at Dirty Hossein's, but then he remembered that Hossein's brother also had a restaurant, with more traditional food.

Lunch in a traditional Persian garden restaurant
Then he remembered that we liked the Mahan garden, which in his opinion wasn't a Persian garden, so drove to a traditional Persian garden with a traditional Persian restaurant where we had traditional Persian food while seated in a traditional Persian seating area. All the while he would talk non-stop about his family, life in Iran, lawyers and heaven knows what else.

To cut a long story short, we had driven drove for about three hours and didn't see all that much of Kerman nor its surroundings. After lunch we suggested he'd drop us off at an internet café and pick us up later, just to be away from his talking for a while.

And then it was time for me to leave for the bus. I said my goodbyes to Michael, which was weird. We'd been travelling together for more than two weeks and had a great time.
Khashayar, the pistachio king of Kerman
He's good travel company and I was sad to say goodbye. Although, if our previous goodbyes are anything to go by, then I'd likely bump into him again in Mashhad.

Khashayar drove me to the bus station where I had another strange farewell. I had liked Khashayar, he genuinely is a good person, but his constant talking made it very hard to be around him for more than a few days. He is by far the most extraordinary person I have met in Iran. I feel sorry for the guy, I think he is lost in his own misery and really needs help (and not just for his drug problem).

And so I was back on the bus again. I had hoped to be on the train, actually. In Tehran I tried to buy a train ticket from Kerman to Mashhad, but was told I could not buy a ticket until nine days in advance.
My bus to Mashhad
No exactly nine days in advance, in Shiraz, I tried to buy my ticket and was told the train was full. There is an overnight train once every two days, and the train earlier was full and the train later only had one seat left, but this was in a women's carriage. So how is this possible? You can't buy a ticket until 9 days in advance, and within hours all tickets are sold out?
I guess travel agents have a way of pre-booking tickets and Mashhad is a major pilgrimage site and the pilgrimage season (read: school holidays) had just started.

I was advised to take a plane. You can fly for as little $40, so why would anyone take a cramped, uncomfortable, sixteen hour bus ride? I had thought about it for several days, but eventually I decided that I had had worse bus rides and that the no-flights principle was worth more than a bit of comfort.
Hope this is a good sign...
Had it been a 24 or 30 hour bus ride I probably would have decided differently, but in this case I decided to take the bus. Though I did buy two seats.

Michael wasn't so masochistic and he opted for the plane. Though economy class was sold out as well, so in the end he had to fly business class, for $70. Something in me tells me he may have been the wiser of the two.

Well, the bus ride was not as bad as expected/feared. Though they did show a horrible movie at loud volume, I was able to drown out the noise with my MP3 player and managed to get relatively comfortable.

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Kashayar is thinking buying (and t…
Kashayar is thinking buying (and …
Lunch in a traditional Persian gar…
Lunch in a traditional Persian ga…
Khashayar, the pistachio king of K…
Khashayar, the pistachio king of …
My bus to Mashhad
My bus to Mashhad
Hope this is a good sign...
Hope this is a good sign...
There was a wake going on in Khash…
There was a wake going on in Khas…
Inside a Zoroastrian temple
Inside a Zoroastrian temple
Inside the house Khashayar wants t…
Inside the house Khashayar wants …
Me at a traditional Persian garden…
Me at a traditional Persian garde…
Khashayar in his usual pose: drivi…
Khashayar in his usual pose: driv…
Kerman
photo by: Saghar