Tabas Travelogue, Part 1
Tabas Travelogue, Part 1
- نوشته توسط Amir Zavare
It’s 7:20 pm on Friday and I’m coming back from heavenly beautiful Tabas. An unconscious smile and great satisfaction are the gifts of remembering Tabas memories. On Saturday I was so sad when the journey was cancelled after one week planning and I would never think that we would travel to the land which is known as “the desert’s bride” exactly based on our cancelled plan and even with more fellow-travelers.
The First Day
We were supposed to gather in Shahriar Governorate Square and I arrived a bit sooner. It took about an hour till the driver and others arrived, but finally we could start our travel to Tabas early in the morning on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 with seven other mates by a rented van. All along the way I was talking to driver in order to keep him awake, and also wondering “How could the mixture of water and desert be?” or “Is it even possible to have rice and date in a desert city?” and many other questions that made me so curious to visit there. Our entrance to that new world began with watching the sunrise in the road of Zavareh to Anarak, exactly where the driver stopped to say his prayers. All along the way, the various attractiveness of vegetation and the villages’ special architecture and historical monuments caught our eyes. Every moment something new was coming up around the road and attracting us.
And finally we arrived at Choopanan. The village with adobe houses. After a short stop and moving again, my friends woke up and then I could rest a little. But the beauty of the nature even didn’t let me blink and whenever I fell asleep mate’ laughter and surprised faces were making me more willing about the beauty around.
About 50 kilometers away from Khor, we arrived at Khorbiabanak salt lake. As we were looking for a good spot to stop, 4 different types of soil in that area caught our attention. These different types of soil are formed by the ways of mud drying, salt crystallization, and existing minerals through the rocks. The soil textures were really interesting. One side of the road were salt polygons and the other side was Tabaghe Desert. It was like walking on Mars. Soil Clods’ height was about 50 centimeters. It seemed like there was a humid soil like it was freshly plowed, but it was dry, rough and even harder than granite when we touched it. Then we visited the salt lake that is actually the biggest seasonal salt lake in the world. After taking some photos and being overwhelmed of joy we kept going. This time the sand dunes around the road attracted us. So we decided to rest an hour beside the sand dunes which is actually placed at the end of the Halvan desert. The driver fell asleep first and others started to take some photos and play with sand dunes. Two of my fellow-travelers and I prepared a hearty breakfast. It was awesome with sand flavor in that peaceful desert.
So we continued the way right 30 minutes after what we planned before. After passing the highland, there was a beautiful field. It was really amazing to watch a field exactly where the mountains and desert connect to each other. We were 30 kilometers away from the field and the scene was like a green gemstone on a ring. The field attracted me so much that I didn’t see the amazing Jowkhah palm-groves. We were in Negin and I couldn’t digest all the beauties of nature gathered in this small town in the middle of desert! It was really awesome. Town was decorated by date, orange and pomegranate trees. Actually date and orange trees were planted instead of other plants in boulevards. Also the fruits on the trees made there much more beautiful. Absolutely it shows Tabas municipality’s forte which has used town’s available potential to make the town more beautiful. Our rented house was far away from where we were and till we got there, we could see half of the town. What caught our attention this time was the features of desert houses; one-storey houses and probably with basements. Double-storey houses were few and some streets were as pleasing as the climate of north of Iran.
We finally arrived at home at 2 pm and left again to Khoroo village as soon as we put our backpacks at home. We drove from the north of the city and next to the Narenjestan hotel about 30 kilometers farther and after passing Mehrbani, Niaz and Kharve-Olya villages, we arrived at “Kal Sardar” canyon or “Morteza Ali” canyon. So we decided to get out of the van to hike and visit better. Exactly beside the parking there was Jafari spring with drinking water and a lot of fish. Time was short and the weather was getting cold and people were returning. So we started hiking at 3 pm and we had to pass through the spring. It was freezing at first but it was getting warmer as we were going forward. I don’t know, maybe we were getting used to it. On the left, there were “Gabr”s houses on the septums and there was no easy way to reach there from down the spring. But some locals said some rock climbers could visit inside there by roping from top of the houses.
After about 2 kilometers we arrived at Morteza Ali spring source. I suggested visiting Shah Abbasi Taqh – A dam with 60 meters height that is called the oldest and greatest arch dam in the world- and then getting back to spring again. We did so, when we returned to spring, I went into Morteza Ali bath and spent a few minutes in its natural Jacuzzi. When I came out everyone was shocked. I think no one knew that it was possible to get inside the bath. I picked my backpack immediately and I went 50 meters forward. There was another spring that later I understood it is called as Fateme Zahra bath. There was a narrow passageway in the entrance that I could barely walk in there. By the end of the passageway there was a natural room with dimensions 1.50m*5.00m*2.00m through the mountain with water issuing from its septums. But you should know that you can not stay there for longer than a few minutes because of the high temperature and humidity.
It was getting dark when I exited the second spring and it was totally dark when we got on the van. Finally, tiredness released its arrow toward me and I slept till we arrived at Tabas. We decided to eat lunch at Nardoon traditional restaurant. Actually it was too late for lunch, so it’s better to say we ate supper late! We heard that Nardoon and Hezar-O-Yekshab are the best restaurants in Tabas. After the supper and shopping we got back home. I don’t know why the process of falling asleep took so long, but it was only happiness, laugh and joy …
Author and Photographer: Amir Zavareh
Translator: Sarah Alizadeh