There is a saying that every Iranian has to drive the Chalus road at least once in his lifetime. Reason enough for me to do the same! This was a tip of the Iranian we met on Mount Ararats in Armenia and I did not forget his words. The road goes between Karaj, west of Teheran and Chalus at the Caspian sea and is roughly 160km (100miles) long. I know one thing. Everybody needs to drive this road once in his/her lifetime. The vistas are nothing short of spectacular and changing around every corner.
I didn’t go all the way to the Caspian, as I got another tip to take the side road to go to Rudbarak, a small little place in the mountains and with spectacular views of Mount Alam Kuh at 4850m. It didn’t disappoint, I spent 2 days next to the river camping and just looking around and barely moving. A beautiful dog held me company all this time, chased the cows away from the van and I cooked dinner for the two of us to thank her. I wanted to take her with me but didn’t in the end.
There’s a road that connects both trans-Alborz roads between Teheran and the Caspian, and although some people told me to go around and not use this road, I did anyway. This road is possibly one of the most beautiful roads I have ever done in my life and the pass is at 3140m. And nobody uses it. Nobody knows. I can’t understand why?! This should be featured everywhere as one of the most beautiful roads in the world!
It took me forever to do the first 30km as I stopped every five minutes to take it all in. And to take these pictures of course.
It was time to find some place to cook and sleep and again I was lucky to find a spot in nature next to a river. Camping next to a river has the advantage that I can use the water to wash myself and do the dishes, without having to use my water supply in the van. But hell, the water is cold! Time for some heating up!
Next morning it was time to finally go in direction of Mount Damavand, something I really wanted to see. The vistas on the way were still first class and I enjoyed every minute of this day. Again, it took me forever as I stopped countless times.
The size of the van (right) just gives you an idea of the sheer magnitude of the mountains.
With its 5671m (18.605ft) Damavand is the highest mountain of Iran and the middle east and is featured in one of the videogames I used to play, so even more reason to have a look in real life! Because I did that backroad, I was able to see Damavand from the northern side. The picture doesn’t even come close at just how massive this volcano is! There’s more than 4000m (13.000ft) difference between where I am standing and the top of the mountain, but it really does not show on this pcture.
I went all around Damavand and found the track that goes to Basecamp. Needless to say that I went up to find a suitable spot for the night…
At night, clouds and fog form in the valleys so you get this impression of being above the clouds…
And catching up on some reading!
as usual: amazing pics of an amazing nature!
njoy and be careful …
Nice one mate. I love that country!
I know why… 😉
Knap. Xxx geniet ervan xxx
Hè Seb, ziet er goed uit daar! Wees voorzichtig en geniet ervan!
Moeilijk te geloven dat Kim er niet meer bij is, zeker omdat zij het was die nood had om te ontsnappen aan het “gewone” leven in Tenerife.
Ben benieuwd naar het vervolg!
ik ook… hahahaha!
Fantastic photos and writing about Iran, we here in North America have no idea of the beauty to be found there! Can a Canadian enter Iran and move about freely?
I am leaving on the vstrom for Mexico next weekend as there will be a nice weather window of plus10 to ride through Montana
Thanks for the updates on your travels
Hi Cal, thanks for being such a loyal reader!
I envy you as well to be able to get out any time it suits you to California or Mexico…
As for visiting Iran, I do know that for UK and US citizens you are required to have a guide at all times. Being a Belgian citizen, I have a 30 day tourist visa, that I will extend next week as my time is almost up and I want to stay a little bit longer and can move around freely. Albeit by avoiding some areas.
Prachtige foto’s; het ziet er idd een geweldige trip uit. Geniet er nog van!
Bedankt, doe mijn best… 😉