From Dizin we decided to continue the scenic drive (Chalus Road) to Chalus. A friendly Iranian driver heading the same way offered to give us a lift at the suggestion of the traffic police (we were happy to wait for the next bus…), so we ended up going with him. He dropped us off in Chalus and we took a shuttle taxi (who refused to take our payment for the ride) to the nearby town of Noshahr along the coast of the Caspian Sea. We had planned to stay there one night but instead decided to head straight to Gorgan. We headed to seaside to view the rather unimpressive Caspian before catching a six hour bus ride to Gorgan. By the time we arrived it was about ten in the evening.
Gorgan is a small town in northern Iran. It is near the border to Turkmenistan so the area is quite ethnically diverse. We first decided to purchase overnight bus tickets to Mashhad, and walked over to the bus station. On the way back we visited the Imamzadeh Abdollah mosque and the tiny Gorgon museum. We then decided to hire a taxi to visit the Nahar Khoran forest about fifteen kilometres from the city centre, and a small town called Ziyarat.
Nahar Khoran was unexpectedly amazing. We wandered around the area, a picturesque forest of bright leafy green trees on the hillside. Ziyarat was a quaint little town perched on the side of a hill, we had a wonder through the town with its wooden houses and cobbled paths.
By then we had befriended the taxi driver, Saeid, and his lovely wife (Shabnam) and daughter (Mahdiyeh) who kindly invited us to their house in Gorgan for chai (tea). We accepted and spent some time swapping information about each other and our cultures while trying to overcome language barriers as they didn’t speak English and our Farsi is limited to a few words!
That evening we had ghorme sabzi (diced meat , beans, vegetables and rice) at a local restaurant and caught our overnight bus to Mashhad.