DAY 15 – Among the Kurdish mountains

274 miles (87680 rods for some ancient people)
#Marivan to #Hamedan

We don’t know exactly how and why we ended up finding ourselves in Kurdistan, since our plan was slightly different. But the Mongol Rally works like that: you end up in places you didn’t plan to go. Since we’re here in Marivan, few kilometers from the border with Iraq, and since we can’t wait for the Pamir to destroy our car, we decide to drive along the whole border to reach Howraman (or Hawraman, or whateverelse phonetics you want to use), a stone village up on the Kurdish mountains of Iran.

Reaching Howraman is easy, if we skip the drive uphill, with Jelly Belly struggling noticeably. On the way, everybody cheers to us, probably for the weirdness of the car. Difficult is to distinguish if someone plays the horn to tell us “get the f**k out of the way” or to show his/her friendliness. The tour guide of Howraman, who tailed us, invites us for lunch.

Reaching Howraman was easy as much as leaving will be hard. The goal is heading to Hamedan, 5 hours away. We decide not to follow Google this time. We find ourselves on a nice 20 kms gravel mountain road, going up and down with nice hairpins. Everything made better by several road works, definitely managed in the Iranian way, which in Italian would be translated in “alla bene e meglio”. Apparently in Iran if you drive a Toyota pick-up, you can skip the halt for road works and do “the f**k you want”.

We stop for lunch at a Kebab place, were we get invited by the owner (a former military translator during the Iran-Iraq war) to stay at his place.

Quick stop at the “why did we actually stop here?” Taq-e Bostan, and then the awful Hamedan traffic welcomes us. Since we are not tired enough, we go for a walk in the night fruit market and to the 2 kms far away restaurant. You ask “why?”, we answer “boh!”.

Number of countries crossed: 11
Days without accidents: 15
Number of times the counter has been reset: 0

*We decided to start a new counter, only in Iran, which counts the number of times we have been invited for lunch, dinner, or to stay at someone’s house for the night.

Number of invitations received: 3