So we ended up back in Tehran where we met Martin, our new companion on the route through Iran and Pakistan. With him, we explored a bit more around the city and went to give another try to hitchhiking busses. We managed to get on a free VIP bus all the way to Shiraz. One of us could be comfortably on drivers bed, one in the front and one in the back of the bus.
In Shiraz we had a contact of a girl that gave free tours through couchsurfing, excited girl, looking forward to moving to Portugal very soon and she introduced us to our next night’s host.
We explored the streets of the bazaar and the beautiful mosques. We managed to pay half prices or free entries at most places we tried. We continued to hitchhike down south to Bandar Abbas where we hitched a boat to Hormuz island.
Hormuz-the rainbow island, with yellow river and red beach.
It was time to settle down in one place for some time again, put up the tent and enjoy the sea. The water was warm (in January) which was great contrast snowy landscapes a week before. Hormuz island has much to offer, you could really feel the difference between land and island culture. People seemed more relaxed, free and happy. There wasn’t so much civilisation, most of the island is empty, which makes it really special. We took a few walks around, to the red beach, then to the Rainbow Valley (which was not really so special anymore (the pigments were pale). We heard about a second Rainbow valley on the island so we blindly went to look for it. We thought the island wasn’t that big anyway. Well, we didn’t find it in the end, or we did and we were just not aware of it. But we found a beautiful yellow crystalized river bench and followed it through the tunnels and mountains where it passed under. Imagine deserted mountains, full of different pigments hiding inside the rocks, full of shells and beautifully shaped rocks, natural sculptures and yellow crystalized salt rivers. Sounds great right? Scroll down for some pictures.
A ride to the border
As hitchhiking was really easy, we went to the bus station again and try our luck again, this time in Bandar Abbas. We had to get a bus to Zahedan, so we could cross the border the next day. It was really important to get a good ride at that time since it really matters which day of the week you enter Pakistan. We didn’t have the luck to hitchhike a bus really, but a guy took our sign seriously and he sat us down, went around the bus station and asked for money to buy us the tickets. In about 10 minutes he had enough money to get three tickets for us.
Getting a visa
I guess I should share the experience of getting a visa for Iran as well since many people believe it might be hard, even though it was really easy for me. I got it in the Netherlands in the embassy in de Hague. Even though I am a Slovenian citizen, that didn’t matter. Only thing I needed to do is print out all the papers, filled out an application online (that one has a lot of paperwork though) and bring passport and photos to the embassy. The process took about 1 minute. The women at the counter just took my papers and asked if I want passport by post or pick it up. My passport was back in my hands in 2-3 days with a beautiful Iranian visa sticker.