Kerman was the next stop on what is now a traditional overland route to India along the silk road. It was also our first time in convoy with Els, Merijn and Thierrie which would have been interesting viewing for a budding psychologist. The group dynamics began to show but were no real issue as we were fairly chilled out and knew what to expect. Thierrie was focussed on getting to the destination and obviously doing mental calculations about average speed. Helen was worried about travelling in a group Els had a phobia about the crosswinds and Merijn was generally relaxed and unfazed.
We were also joined by Roderick and Merlyn who were travelling to India in a converted ex military Mercedes van. Any fears about them being slower than us were unfounded since they did not need to stop as often as the biking group. It was also fantastic to stop in a lay-by to eat some scrambled eggs and have tea. I wondered if perhaps a camper van would be a good way to travel before telling myself to wise up. 🙂
Since it took us a while to leave Yazd, we arrived in Kerman in the dark, just in time for rush hour. The Iranian traffic is chaotic at best but even more so at night though it really should be experienced to be believed. The basic rule seems to be that anything which is in front of you has right of way. Stuff that is behind you no longer matters and you‘d better get used to having no personal space. It also helps a lot to have a very loud horn. After a while of driving in Iran I was beginning to get used to it and even beginning to enjoy it. In any case with the campervan up front leading the way I was just thankful to let someone else do the navigation.
So we rocked up to the recommended Omid Inn only to find it closed for renovations. Luckily the owner was at the site and directed us to the new one which used to be a house. Again i was lazy and took a back seat as we negotiated the traffic for a second time with the van leading the way. When we arrived, the campervan nearly demolished some scaffolding outside because it was about 2 inches too tall and a traffic policeman stood by uselessly looking gormless. Eventually we got settled and the others had negotiated a good rate on the hotel.
The guidebook recommended a nearby hotel to eat a buffet dinner. As usual the price in the book was a lot lower than reality but we stayed nonetheless and had a great feed served up by a waiter who made us all laugh by describing everything he served as ‘berry berry good‘. I began to like the change of pace by riding in a group and enjoyed swapping interesting stories and experiences with the others.