We heard from a Dutch girl in the Silk Road Hotel in Yazd that it was possible to wild camp in the Desert near Kerman in an area called the Kaluts. What I had read online and in the guidebook indicated that wild camping in Iran can draw unwanted attention from the authorities. While this had meant we had not camped in Iran we were keen to try the experience.
Since the distance from Kerman was not far we had a leisurely drive into the Desert, stopping along the way for some lunch and lying around chatting. We arrived to the official campsite to (thankfully) find it empty. This meant we could squeeze through a gap in the wall and continue riding out past it into the desert. The sand was hard compacted and easy to ride on so we continued on for a bit to find a secluded spot where we would be less likely to be disturbed.
When we switched off the engines I was immediately struck by how silent it was. It was a stark contrast from Kerman the night before. Nothing was living out here except us (and somehow a few flies). I watched a tranquil sunset over the sand dunes before we setup camp and Els made us a fantastic curry. Without a further word she then disappeared to return with some wood and had a campfire going before we knew it. It was great to see how wild camping is done from people with a little more experience than us.
Again we swapped stories for a while and stared at the stars. We played with google skymap on my phone to identify them too, but I wondered if knowing their names really added anything to the experience. I noticed a trend forming in Els and Merijn‘s disaster stories where they always seemed to start with “this one time when I was camping“. It became a running joke but I began to wonder how the desert camping would turn out.
In the morning everything was fine. No wild animals or authorities came to get us in the night and the bikes were still there. We decamped, fired them up and headed off into the sunrise.