We’d heard that a series of dams were being constructed along the Karun. We hadn’t quite realised the extent of what this meant. No fewer than 3 major dams were already in existence on Iran’s longest river, including what the locals had told us was the biggest dam in the Middle East, and we heard of several more ongoing construction projects on the river’s tributaries.
As we neared the confluence of the Karun and the Armand rivers, the prospect of paddling through hundreds of kilometres of politically sensitive building sites and manmade lakes was not one we were much looking forward to.
So we decided to continue by bicycle as far as Shushtar, the ancient summer capital of the pre-Islamic Sassanian Empire, a few kilometres below the last of the river’s dams.
The only problem with this plan was that we didn’t have any bicycles.
But this was Iran. And in Iran, anything is possible. (Especially if you’re a Farsi-speaking foreigner and you’re not afraid to roll the dice.)
It turned out that Shushtar really was worth a visit, as you’ll see in next week’s pictures…
Camping equipment for this trip was kindly sponsored by Big Agnes. Our Iranian visas were procured with great efficiency courtesy of The Visa Machine. We’re also grateful to the folk at Lyon Outdoor for supplying Exped drybags and Aquapac waterproof camera cases wholesale for this journey.