9th November 2010 – 343 miles
You meet fascinating people whilst travelling. A fellow guest at the Akhavan Hotel struck up a conversation with us over breakfast. He studied maths at Liverpool over 40 years ago and thought that he forgot how to speak English as he has no interaction with English speakers, living in Tehran and owning a smallholding farm on the outskirts of Kerman.
By coincidence, the hotel happened to be situated next door to a Landrover specialist, so whilst Johur and Nasir took a taxi into town to see the hammam museum, I thought I’d get the brakes checked out and get a replacement fuel filler cap. Unfortunately they were unable to assist on both fronts due to parts availability but they were very good company.
And the staff at the hotel were brilliant. The hotel has been passed through three generations of the Akhavan family and is very popular amongst overlanders.
Driving on to Zayedan, we could not find a filling station selling diesel so we used one of our Jerry Can reserves and had a slight detour to Bam.
You may recall that Bam was hit by a devastating eartquake back in 2003. A few years later, the rebuilding of the ancient mud city is ongoing. Bam was a staging post on the trade routes between India and Pakistan at one end and the Persian Gulf and Europe at the other, so it only felt right that we should pay the 2000 year old city a visit!
Later that evening we rocked up at the Esteghlal Grand Hotel, supposedly the best hotel in Zahedan. Firstly they insisted that we pay an advance ” deposit” (in other words the full hotel fare) and secondly served me a meal that I had not ordered (but did not have the decency to inform me that they had ran out of what I ordered and probably hoped that I would not notice). Nothing comes between me and my food, and following a slight altercation with the hotel’s management, I ate for free (albeit the meal I had not ordered). We were all far from impressed.