Magical desert nights

Since I arrived to Iran I felt the call for the desert. I dreamt about spending a couple of nights and days there. I was specially fascinated by the idea of sleeping under the sparkling stars in the stillness of the desert.

So there I sat now and felt the warm wind of the desert on my skin. I felt calm and energetic. I was thinking about the coming journey in the desert. From Esfahan I hitchhiked to the big central desert of Iran called Dasht-e Kavir. I sat in a guesthouse in Mesr, a little desert village. The owner of the guesthouse named Rohab pointed out a spot in my map where I could hike to. My heart was jumping joyfully when he said that basically I can put up my tent anywhere. No people, no paths only to the scorpions I should pay attention. „It is scorpion season and when it is windy the come out to the sand.“ he told me.



The evening before I left I sat in the courtyard, reading my book and enjoying the quietness. In that moment a young woman started to prepare her sleeping bag next to me. She looked neither Western nor typically Iranian. Her clothes somehow looked alternative and mystical. I was surprised and asked: „You are sleeping here?“ Briefly she answered: „Anywhere.“ Then she went in her sleeping back to sleep.

When I had my things prepared early the morning Rohab approached me. „There is a young Iranian woman here. For some days she is dreaming about camping in the desert. Maybe you can go together.“, he said. It was the mysterious woman from the previous evening. It is always cool to share experiences, so I agreed that he could ask her. Afterwards she told me that many people tried to stop her from going with a strange man alone to the desert. Something not very common in Iran. Yet they couldn’t change her opionion. Instantely she started to prepare her things and for more than one hour she was running around arranging her stuff and food.
It was a very windy day. That meant the scorpions were out. Rohab was not sure about our plan but one of his friends said he knew a good place for us. We went all together in Rohab’s jeep.This was when my new travel mate introduced herself to me. Her name was Dorna and I was surprised now how communicative and open-minded she was in contrast the yesterday.


When we arrived at the said place Dorna was very disappointed. It was not the kind of desert she had imagined. „This is not pure here“, she was complaining to Rohab’s friend. The ground was dusty and dry and it was not far from the street. The following discussion didn’t change anything. We should stay here.

After the others left without being irritated Dorna started started walking to the desert away from the place where they dropped us. I quickly marked the spot on Google Maps and tried to catch up to her. I also didn’t like this place, so we talked about what we are going to do. We decided to find our own place. A place we would like. So on the search for a place to camp we started to walk into the unknow desert. Walking over the first sand dunes I felt the wilderness of the desert.



It was extremly windy and the sand was whiping in our face. We had to find a wind-protected place preferrably with some trees to tie our tents to. It was very hard to find a place to camp here in this stormy sands. So we stepped through the deep sands. We crossed one dune after the other seeing all kind of new places. This was uncharted territory and we didn’t know where we were going. We walked deeper and deeper into the desert passing some dry bushes and some lonely desert flowers. Everywhere there were some new surprises. I just love the adventurous presence of exploring new ground!






After a vast search in differant places we finally found a beautifull spot behin a high dune. There were some trees and bushes were we could tie our tents to and find some shadow during the day.


This was our place for an uncertain periode. We explored all our surrounding area and they was a lot to discover: Sand dunes with a view over the endless desert, blooming flowers and many little bugs doing their stuff in the sands. In the night we even saw a beautiful brown beige desert fox. Soon this little secret place felt like our home. We cooked some food and sat at the fire place.






We cooked at the fire and in the evening we went to a high and lonely dune. From here we enjoyed the beauty of the late desert atmosphere. Sitting there in the sand we were watching the­ sun disappearing behind some distant dunes. Not even some tourist at a distance close to the road could disturb this peace.




Then the magical desert sky revealed its countless glowing stars around us. A sparkling of stars with a wide horizon which you maybe can only experience in a desert like this.



The following day I went back to Mesr to stock up food and water. Hitchhiking some way back I got picked up by two Teheranian doctors. Mahdi was a neuro surgeon and his friend anestesist. Instantely I notice how cool they were. So we parked there car were some tourists come and I led them to our hidden place. „They don’t go further than 10 or 20 meters“ I told them while we left the tourist behind and climbed the first dunes.


On the way I noticed that our place was really not so easy to find. If you didn’t know where it was you would not find it for sure. Nevertheless we found it and Dorna was welcoming us. With those guys we had so much fun. We laughed so much, talked about all kind of stuff and also about Persian poetry. After a few glases of wine sitting around the fire Mahdi started to read a poem of Rumi, my favorite Persian poet. Something I really wish to happen for every traveller going to Iran. Everyone listened calm and attentively. Dorna made her sound bowl singing.





Even though they would have liked to stay longer they had to leave in the evening. While night breaked wesat again at the fire and talking about all kind of things. Her English was not perfect but she liked to talk anyways. She told me about her time when she spent 6 months in a tent on the island Hormoz. She was a travel spirit and we shared the same love for new adventures.

Somewhen in the night we started to explore the quite desert in the night. Barefoot we walked through the soft and dark desert sand. It was a total different experience again to wander around here in the night and be all alone out there.



Dorna decided to join me hitchhiking through Iran for a while. We hitchhiked through the desert and some sparse saline landscape.