Day 231 22 September 2017 Masule to Lake Neor
After a jolt start to our morning we managed to gather ourselves together, race through breakfast and still be on the bus on time! Daylight saving changes and modern technology conspired to have us an hour late. Not one, but both of our phones had changed twice – 2 hours instead of 1 – each with our manual resetting and again with auto-setting in the early hours of the morning.
We strolled out of our room into the sunny Masule morning ready for a stroll before breakfast. We chatted leisurely with Magid then met Leila who questioned our timing! Oh what a morning to be so late. The breakfast was in a lovely café overlooking the valley and a treat of eggs, bread, meat, jams, coffee.
And on to the road less travelled – in the literal sense. There were two ways to our next destination one quicker and more scenic but the road condition was not known and may see us returning the way we came to take the more certain road. Do It – we all agreed.
It was long, winding, bumpy at times, spectacular at all times road. We were of course safely in Magid’s hands and he completed a loooooooong day of driving in his always mad humoured, fun loving way.
Out of Masule we wound our way along an incredible road through the mountains, looking down into valleys where nomads had their summer “farms”. At this time of year preparing to move to town before winter sets in.
From our moving mini-bus we frequently said to ourselves – Not taking any more photos from a moving bus – only to round the next corner and be snapping furiously at the next land formation.
We stopped for a toilet break at a small town and the owner of a home where we stopped invited us in to use their facilities. He was a soccer enthusiast who decided that because Chris was an Australian he should now be called Harry Kewell. I guess I have been called worse things.
The toilet was out the back of the house in a wonderfully overgrown lush back garden filled with fruit, vegetables and flowering plants. The mother of the house came out and insisted we should stay for lunch. Sadly it was not possible and seemed an enormous imposition – a sudden influx of 9 for lunch. So we declined and headed off to have a picnic in an apple orchard.
After lunch we were met by Mustafa, a local guide who was to walk us to our camp for the night. The next morning he would then guide us to the village of Sobaton where we would stay the following night.
We walked up through rocky hills and across a flood plain and finally alongside Lake Neor a beautiful mirage like expanse of water. Unusually it is not filled by a river but by rain and snow.
We arrived at a camp finding our tents erected and dinner being prepared. Our support team included a wonderful cook and comic Puria and Maysan our support and driver – also a comic. We also discovered that Maysan was a representative in Iran for ARB an Australian 4X4 vehicle accessories.
While the setting was stunning most of us had a sleepless night on thin camp mattresses. Questioning ourselves as to whether we are still cut out for camping! Though would we have missed this experience – absolutely not!