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A Picnic by Damavand

09/25/09 By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

We are lucky to have good friends in Tehran and a couple of weeks ago we drove out of town with a few of them in two four-wheel drives to get some wonderful late summer fresh air and a big change of scenery.

Our good friend Mehrdad and his brother Babak were our guides and our mutual friend Eli our host.  We started late morning and drove east of Tehran towards Damavand.  It is the highest mountain peak in Iran and it looks stunning, majestic and awesome on the rare occasions that we can see it from different parts of Tehran if the pollution allows.

We passed Boumehen, Roudehen and took the road to Poulour and filled up the cars at the gas station there before heading east again towards the foothills of this great mountain, taking the rough tracks where we hardly saw any other car.  I felt very safe with our guides as they are not only the kings of the Iranian desert but also knowledgeable about many mountains here and abroad and yes they know about roads, side roads and of course cars.

It was fun. The views were breathtaking, the small mountains and hills looked like chocolate on a delicious cake. The air was clean and fresh and we all felt lighter, younger and happier.  We passed many nomads that were on their last weeks of yelagh (summer camp) and soon will be heading south to gheshlagh (winter camp) and waved as some shepherds ran after our cars followed by their flocks of goat and sheep.

Soon Mehrdad and Babak found a great spot by the river and we set up the tables and took out the comfy picnic chairs and set up a lunch that our hosts and a friend had prepared.  The sun started to be hidden by the clouds and it felt a little cold but we did not have long to wait before Babak and Mehrdad started a wonderfully warm and cozy fire and we all sat around it and drank our tea.

By late afternoon and long before it got dark we started to head back which took us twice as long as because they wanted to show us some more of the beauty of nature so close to Tehran and so lovely.  As we were getting close to the road back to Tehran, the sun set and minutes later the moon rose and we said goodbye to these lovely graceful mountains, until next time which I hope will be soon.  We have a few photos to share with you from this day.

Jaye shoma khalli khalie ( your places were very empty)

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