For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamt of going to a “real” oasis in the desert. You know, like the ones you seen in movies or cartoons: a palm tree clad village with an abundance of water and crops, smack in the middle of sand plains and dust. A place where you could sit by a well in the shadow of a tree in total silence and watch the occasional heard of sheep pass by.
That’s exactly what Garmeh is like. Somewhere in Iran’s central desert, Dashte- kavir, lies this tiny village irrigated by a small mountain spring. Garmeh has been welcoming and accommodating travellers for hundreds of years as it was one of the pitstops on the famous silk road.
Getting there and away was far from easy. It entailed several vehicles switches, each time leaving us on the side of a dusty road. Thanks to our non-existent Persian language skills, we only had our hands and smiles to ask for direction and communicate with people on the way. But Iranians, friendly and helpful as they are, always found a way to make us feel at ease and see us through to the next leg of our journey.
We stayed in Ateshooni, a family run guesthouse right in the middle of Garmeh.
Our days were filled with walks, relaxation and interesting conversations with other travelleres- half of which were young Iranians.
Our nights were spent entranced by Maziar Ale Davoud’s live music, artist and owner of the guest house. Followed by stargazing and eye-opening conversations whilst sipping tea in miniature cups and nibbling on fresh dates.
We were spoilt with incredible meals three times a day.
It was so idyllic we ended up booking an extra night- which would have turned into a week were our days in Iran not restricted by a tourist visa.
After a few days in Garmeh, I was not ready to kiss the desert sands goodbye. So we extended our trip by spending the night in another settlement in the desert; “Mesr” near Farahzad. We stayed in ‘Barandaz lodge’, another family run guesthouse with an attached farm. Though the oasis was not as picture perfect as in Garmeh, what we got here was another classic desert scene; enormous sand dunes. Perfect for dune bashing at sunset.
The mornings were just as magical. As the sun rose, you could feel the entire farm and its surrounding rising too. Cows and sheep enjoying(?) their morning milking sessions, camels being taken out for their morning walk, the sun slowly heating up the yellow sand and tea getting to a boil on an open fire.
While this all was going on, there was silence. That strange kind of silence where you do hear things are going on, but their sound disappear in the greater silence. The loudest noise around are your thoughts. Eventually those too quiet down until they are completely mute.
“I think I’m in love with the desert”, I confessed to Douglas. He shot me a jealous look and we never spoke of it again.
We left Dashte-Kavir too soon, but then again, same thing goes for pretty much every destination we visited in Iran.
How do you feel about the desert? Is it an environment you like?
The post “Desert Oasis of your Dreams: Garmeh, Iran” first appeared on Travel Cake.