Thursday, June 18, 2015

Driver Number One!!

Mohammed gave up on us after one day and drove back to Shiraz to cram for his calculus exam on Saturday. We were full of doubt when we saw the beat up yellow cab waiting for us, but the driver was all smiles and even opened the door for me. The fake bear skin on the dashboard was a nice touch here in the desert; Habib has an evil eye deflector dangling from the rear view mirror. At a pretty good clip we headed out to the ruins of the citadel at Rayan. A group of four was leaving as we arrived. They had a sparrow with them...a pet. 

I can't format for some reason while skirting the social media ban here...some things work and others do not. Sigh. 

We encountered a small snake in the citadel which caused quite a stir...they saw one last week also. Nadia left us alone to wander for a few minutes and when the officials at the gate learned she'd left us with the snake they were incredulous. As Nadia repeated the snake story during the day, it grew larger and larger...a fish story for sure.

At 3:30 we headed out to the great desert Kalut. Habib played ululating music, Nadia traveled to Milan in her dreams and on her Ipad, Richard and I sat tight in the back, today broiling in the heat. I have no idea how fast we were going, but we got a ticket which Habib seemed to find amusing. He kept his window open and we had shades, but no air conditioning. It wasn't as bad as it long as you keep drinking and have enough body moisture for a continuous light sweat, you achieve an equilibrium. 

The actual Kalut desert was around 115 degrees when we arrived. The metal on my camera was scary hot. After the initial shock, our bodies seemed to adjust and our hour admiring the scenery was bearable. Nadia set out across the sand to meditate for a while; Richard explored a bit; I stayed close to the yellow cab in the shade. Once we were all back, the driver, Habib pulled 4 Persian melon slices out of the trunk and we enjoyed the sweet juiciness as much as any treat I can remember. On our way back to Kerman he made another stop at a goat herder's shack and emerged laughing with ice cream and ice cold water. Driver number 5 turns out to be Driver number 1.
Nadia in her Vermeer pose. 

Nadia kept walking and disappeared. I worried, but Habib demonstrated he could call her on her cell phone. And we can't get a signal in De Luz. 
Our driver Habib hosting the Persian melon party. 
The great Kalut desert. As Nadia was explaining that nothing lives in the Kalut, even bacteria, a giant spider emerged from a crack in the wall behind her and scurried across to a hole. About the size of my hand, it was the color of the rocks...perfect camouflage.

The garden stop. A marvelous series of descending fountains. 


  1. I want to paint Nadia in her Vermeer it !
    And all the rest is OMG, OMG, OMG !!!!!!

  2. fabulous photos, love the nadia shot as well, sounds like an epic trip.