Day 262 & 263: A Red Village, A White Salt Lake

Red village of Abyaneh spilling down the mountainside

Abyaneh: the red village

Made a stop in Abyaneh, a small Zoroastrian village south of Kashan. Heard about this place from many Iranian friends so decided to drop by and see what the fuss was all about. It’s on the way from Esfahan to Kashan anyway.

Abyaneh’s villagers (women in traditional flowery outfits)

Yep, Iranis love this place, it’s Friday (Muslim weekend) and local tourists flood the village. I’m real glad we came. Photogenic villagers hang around on every corner, making great subjects for my photos, whilst I in turn became a bonus subject for the holidaying Iranis’ pictures.

Yes Jumong is in town….

Kashan & Salt Lake
Next day, made a dash for Kashan to see a few historical houses before heading into Maranjab desert for a night.

Courtyard of the grand Tabatabei House

Kashan’s historic area reminded me of Yazd because of their similar mud buildings. But the traditional homes here are 5 times grander. Mostly built by wealthy merchants in late 1800s. Imagine living in a 4,000+ sq metre house?? Could easily inhabit 4 wives… and maybe hide another 4?

Inside the bathhouse Hammam Sultan Mir Ahmad

The desert itself didn’t really impress. Hossein told us there were bigger sand dunes farther away and I’m not quite sure why he didn’t take us there. From what we saw, I didn’t bother whipping out the camera. The salt lake was a bit more interesting but nothing compared to Bolivia’s Uyuni salt flats. Apparently this (now dried up) salt lake used to connect with the Caspian Sea 60,000 years ago. Now it’s just an expanse of salt and soil. The ground looked shattered by salt polygons, a result of gaseous pressure coming from under the ground – saw the same in Bolivia but the effect here looked more pronounced!

Namak Lake (salt lake) outside Kashan

It was a lot more fun to sleep in the raw open at Kaluts; instead, here we pitched tents beside a manmade water pool and slept near a small power generator. Entertainment for the night: pulling our car out of a sandhole. Thankfully there were hands nearby to help. It took 7 big men and about an hour’s workout!

Travel Info
To get to Abyaneh, ask the bus driver (for routes servicing Esfahan and Kashan) to let you off at the turnoff to the village on the Esfahan-Kashan highway. There is only one road and drivers on this route should know where to stop, albeit you may need some Farsi proficiency or ask someone to explain/translate for you. Otherwise, the driver may drop you off (like he did for us) at Natanz from where it is a USD8-10 taxi ride.

For getting to Maranjab desert and the salt lake, Hossein Moznebi (mobile: 0913 2642236) is probably your best bet. Guides listed in LP will refer you to him, as they did for us. Good man, very considerate and helpful, speaks perfect English. However, you may want to make sure he gets you to the big sand dunes!

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  1. 阿葉 says:

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  2. ace says:

    jumong! surprised there isnt any posts in the last 10 days? miss u guys!

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