Our time in Iran is running out and we are driving North to visit Golestan National Park and to take in some waterfalls. Most of the roads in Iran have been dual carriageway and generally the original carriageway is upgraded and a new one added. Yesterday started and finished with mountain passes but involved about 350km of mainly flat straight desert road. So a bit boring really.
The main variations were the sand texture. So mostly scrubby with brown tufts of vegetation or red coloured soil in rubbly piles.
Then suddenly there was a large stretch of flat golden sand which lasted for about an hour! Then we were back to scrubby rubble. In the midst of this I should have said that it was raining! Not solidly and not all day but quite a lot sometimes.
Then towards the end of the day, on dual carriageway, when the rain had ceased, in addition to more warning signs about camels, there were warnings about uneven carriageway on the road. Nothing unusual there then.
(I should mention that in addition to warning signs about camels we had signs for sheep, cattle and lastly cheetahs! Yes apparently they were native to Iran and our now endangered in the wild.)
By now the rain had stopped, however the mountains away to our left had spewed rushing rusty red water in riverlets across the road. Without culverts alongside or under the old carriageway, this fast running red river water gushed across the road in the undulating road surface which had been gouged out to allow water to pass. Some of these were so deep that police cars were parked to warn drivers to venture forth slowly. Looking to the left, the new carriageway had bridges and culverts and so the water was concentrated over the neighbouring carriageway in occasional torrents.
Obviously Landy was tailor-made for this and dense brown sandy water spewed over the bonnet and windscreen as I drove a little too fast through the fast flowing desert flood.
We got the hang of putting on the windscreen wipers before we hit the patches so we could see driving out again. Yes readers, it was fun.
Needless to say Landy has to go to the car wash again.
When we woke this morning for desert part two, starting with a clean car, however, Jim announced that it was pouring with rain again! Unbelievable.
In a country with many mountains and vast deserts and little rain, it has decided to rain whilst we are here. Jim said we should rent ourselves out as rainmakers!