This are some beautiful examples how we are all connected…..
The distances between the cities or villages become bigger. One of these days I realized, I have to carry more than 1/2 a liter of water. I was thirsty. Really needing water. But also knowing, that I can manage a day without any water too. This day suddenly a 10 liter canister of mineral water is standing beside the street. 1 1/2 liter was left. Someone forgot it for me.
Another day. I did not have breakfast. I was eating some nuts and pistachios given by so many people. I discovers the wish to have some fruit with it. 2 min later a car stopps. A men jumps out of the car and hands me to big fat oranges and an apple over. Exactly the fruits I was needing.
So many times. It is Nowrouz and people are having a lots of nuts and try fruits to enjoy. A car stops and you get a full bag of nuts, seeds, pistachios, raisins, fruits…..
Or you come along a stand with all this delicious things and trader just fills up a bag without any question. So beautiful.
And often it’s a magic moment, hard to find words for it. Often your bag of nuts are just empty or nearly empty……
The landscape is beautiful. The mountains in the north are big, bald and drawn by erosion. It’s a joy to see them. After the rain some plants start to grow out of the dry ground. Even while walking on he highway the silence of the nearly desert is hearable.
Thanks for reading
Hasan was surprised. He wanted to bring me with his car towards the exit of the city east. But. I always continue walking where I stopped before. There is until now no interruption all the way from Germany until here. (Except my sideway to the middle east because of political circumstances) Everything is walked step by step.
Shortly after Semnan a sign: To Damghan 95 km. It was’confirmed‘ 10km later with another sign, what said: 95km to Damghan. Hihihi
Hasan told me before, the next possible place to sleep is a gas station 40km away. No house in between. But I cant walk every day 30 or 40km…. So I decided to relax and walk less. Finally a found a workers place in a quarry. I was invited to sleep there. As you maybe know I do walk without sleeping bag. So I have always to find something and ask for help. The next day I reached that gas station but was asked to go to the Red Crescent some 100m on the road for the west direction. Red Crescent is a big helper and I used a few times there hospitality, always nice people there too, but you have to leave after 12h. So if you arrive at 6pm, you have to go at 6am. ….
The day after turned out colder and colder. Also some rain. But the clouds helped me again while pooring more rain to the north and south. It felt the clouds which came from behind, decided themself to drop the rain right and left from me. Thanks so much. But the wind got bigger and stronger and colder and colder. It felt like 5 degree and even the wind and rain jacket could not hold the wind cold away from my bones. Brrr. In Qusheh I ended up in a little restaurant. Another friendly Hasan served me first and made sure that I got warm, then he organized overnight staying by Aliakbar. He is 70 years old and is farming with irrigation here, water melons, honey melons and cereals. Because he had seeds already in the ground he was worried because of the cold. Iranians like to heat there houses very well. Energy is cheap. And sometimes it feels overheated. But that day – I was so happy to have a overheated place….
The next day I started with 8 layers of clothes (day before only 6 layers). The wind was not so strong anymore. Puh. Little drops. 35km to Damghan. I was thinking of walking all the way that day. Finally after 10km a car stopped beside of me. Two men jumped out of the car and kissed me passionately. Majid is having a pilgims rest place nearby and Mustafa, I found out later, is a walking pilgrim, slept there last night. I guess he started walking this morning, when Majid decided to pick him up from the road again because of the bad weather conditions. Accidentally they found me walking there and initiated a friendly kidnapping. Mustafa is on the way from Mashad to Karbala in Irak, south of Bagdad, so from the tomp of Iman Reza to Iman Hossein. That’s all together around 2000 km, what he will walk in just 60 days. The 600 from Mashad until here he walked in 15 days. We arrived at the pilgrims refuge and I learned, there are more pilgrims from all over Iran or sometimes other countries walking to Mashad. I was very warmly welcomed. I got even a massage again. And it was a welcoming encounter. The shower room was heated by a Bunsen burner. I saw some big cuttings on Mustafas upper arm and neck and I understood that he did self-flagellation in Kerala before. In the evening I also gave him a massage. Massaging his head I felt on the top that he must have had a accident or so, because skill blanket must have been broken. This always laughing 27 year men showed me pictures, where you self-flagallate also your head with a heavy sword. Through that even his blanket were broken. Still days after I am a bit in shock. Anyway we became friends. The next day we left more or less from the some place at the road. Majid brought us. A last hug and a foto with his pilgrim stick and a green flag with white Farsi or Arabic letters honoring Hussein. Mustafa walking west. I am walking east. Every step distancing us. Another hug not possible anymore but still connected.
Because I can’t use Facebook in Iran I opened a account in Instagram. You can follow nearly daily fotos and little reports. Adress : schmockelthomasheinrich
It’s my second rest day and it’s sleeping sleeping sleeping time. I want to keep you updated with my km done and to go. Until Damghan I walked 307 km in 2 weeks. And there are 557 km to go until Mashad until the 5th of May. That seems manageable to me.
When I left Tehran I saw a sign saying 960km to Mashad, what maked me wonder. And not really paniking but challenged. Anyway, when I came back to the highway 44 after 200 km walking I was surprised to see a sign with just 667 km towards Mashad, a gift of 100km. Because I will walk all the way along the highway, there will be proparbly no extra km to add. I must say, it’s not that horrible to walk along the highway all the time, as I thought in the beginning. Mostly there are two lines beside me. The ather two lines in the opposite direction are some 100m away. I made also friend with the idea, that I am walking directly on the old silk road. It’s kind of a supporting energy of knowing how many people traveled through centuries and tousands of years this way. I saw already a old carawansarey beside the road. Also supporting is, that through these 2 weeks after New Year in Iran (21.3.) about 2 million people are travelling to Mashad to honour the tomp of Iman Reza and to pray there. In this 2 weeks most people in Iran have holidays and not so much trucks are in the highway. The Mashed pilgrim’s nowadays are mostly taking there cars, but also train and planes. But there are also walkers – I will report later. Anyway – the car pilgrim’s are mostly travelling with a tent. They come often a long way and can’t reach Mashad in a day. So cities along the highway created areas, where these pilgrims can rest and sleep. And while walking along the way, you see all these cars packed with lots of blankets, often banded at the roof.
Coming back to the km. Leading Aftar towards Semnan I knew I had to go that day about 35km. Suddenly I saw a sign saying 25 km. Oh nice surprise. 3 km later the confiration. 25km again on a sign. Also two police men where greeting me. The controlled me a day before. It was the first day of Nowrouz – New Year, so there was not a lot of traffic. Actually there was nothing to do. So they invited me to sit a while in the police car to get warm and have some conversation. They also tried to convince me, that it is only 20km to Semnan. It was a little bit dropping rain and I had the feeling, the clouds are trying to hold the rain away for me. Getting in the car would change the mindful holding pilgrim energy and would maybe allow the elements to open the clouds to let the rain come down. So I refused and continued the walk. Until Semnan it was 36km to walk.
Arriving in Semnan I first bumped into two men. They wanted to celebrate New Year and convinced me to get in a car. 1km later we ended up sitting in a little shop. More and more friends came and it was clear, this will be a long night. And I was so exhausted. They wanted to dance, had some in Iran illegal alcohol organized, and where also big smokers. They thought of put me into a place with a heavy smoker for sleeping. — After a while I just said goodbye. This really nice people I couldn’t follow that day, done as I was. I want back to the place where I stopped walking, step by step towards the city center.
Here I met Hasan. He was in the way to the Nowrouz Bazar. His friends had a stand there with wooden hand made decoration materials. Shahin, Mehrnoosh, Shapur, Adel, Fereshte, Mohammad and Shiva welcomed me heartly. Iranians love foreigners and that served me with whatever they could. My mind was very fresh, my body was sitting on a chair, fresh air and we had time to enjoy each other. What a beautiful arriving. Finally Hasan drove me to his family home. Next day we visited Shahin in his workshop, we met some other artists. In he afternoon we drove with his wife Mahboobe and his kids Kamyar and Kamand to the Mountain village Shahmirzad. We had lunch in a traditional restaurant and later a sweet relaxing time in there garden and garden house. In the evening we want again to the Nowrouz bazar. Lovely time in Semnan. This is an example of beautiful people connection I make. We all want to see each other again. But there is no garantie at all. Instead of being attached it is such a treasure to enjoy the time together and celebrate life in the presence as it enfolds. It was truly lovely. Thanks again.
At the 31.3. Is my 55th birthday.
This year I have a special wish.
Please go and hug a tree, for you, for me, for the tree. In honour and respect for mother nature and this beautiful world.
If you like please let me know where in the world you huged a tree. And also if you like. Please sent a picture.
I have had no break day yet. Latest after tomorrow it will come.
I have to walk more km than usually when I walk. It’s again because of Visas. In Iran I get max 3 month Visa. Until the finish of the first 2 month I have to be in Mashad – also for the Afghanistan Visa. From Mashad to the border it’s again around 300km to walk.
But from Tehran to Mashad it’s, I saw a sign, 960km by car.In 54 days. So that’s really hard. And walking is mostly some km more. So for now I walked in 7 days without a break 164 km. If I make a calculation of 7 weeks (some days I leave for whatever in case) I have to do 137 km a week.
The big challenge is to be in mindfulness and presence all the time. This week I got some blisters, what is in normal cases not exceptable. My bones and mussels are hurting so when I get up it looks like a old men is getting up. When i start walking it hurts, after a while its fine, more or less.
I hope to manage with more ease and gliding in presence.
If walking is possible in Afghanistan, it’s the same challenge there. 1500km or more through the country in 3 month.
I do walk now since 7 days towards east. Towards Mashad and the Afghanistan border.
Iranian people are just great. Generous , inviting, hospitality, curious , helpful, ….. Beside the invitation in there houses for sleeping its the little things what makes our world so wonderful. So people stop with there cars just to say hello. But often it’s combined with handing over some nuts, sweets, cake, tea….. it’s so beautiful. I also started more to give away the peace birds on he street, for example when a car stops but also when a situation appears, a eye contact, a smile, whatever else connection. And I did in other unexpected situations. Like kids firering some new years cracks, and I was a bit ‚brrr‘ in the first seconds. Then I turn around, open my bag and give some peace birds to the kids. Sooo nice. I always liked the little gifts to show repect, friendship, hearts… to each other. So here we are.
The nature,especially the montains are so great, now still covert by snow. I enjoy.
Nowruz / New Year is coming at the 21.3. Western or Christian calender. At the start of spring Iran is celebration 1.1.1396. That’s the years since Mohammad. (Other Muslim direction count 12 moons as a year, so than it’s the year 1436. Everyone is so busy here as some where bitten by bees. When New Years starts there is a 14 days celebration. Most people are not working, some travel. Traditionally the younger people visit the elder once. And then the elder once have to visit the younger. Families are big in Iran so that takes time.
All the nights it was easy to find hosts. In nearly all cases I had just to ask one person and there was already a solution. Sometimes the place is luxury, sometimes simple, sometimes offered by rich or poor people. Today I stay in the prayer room of the Red Crescent.
But last night it was different. I arrived in a village of 50 houses with no-one at home. The reason. It is a mountain village. Some snow was still on the ground. Owners are farmers who only come for the summer season. There where some steps from some days ago in the mud. Some tyre prints. One looked pretty fresh. But was leading nowhere. All houses had high walls and everything was looked. There where only some old stalls half broken and wet inside. I could not go anywhere else, because the next villages where to far away. I imidiadly looked for a solution. I found one house with a concreate terasse which had no wall around. This could give me wind cover. Then I wanted to make a fire. I was not sure, but I had a lighter and even matches with me. I found a old metal 10 liter box for oil. Fixed it so I could use it as the fire box, because i wanted the fire most closely. There was also wood. The electric nod was installed outside so I had even light and a box where I could charge my phone…. everything is everywhere. Also a flexible seat for a donkey was laying around so I did not have to sit on the cold floor. It was a bit diffecult to lit the fire and keep it running, because the wood was a bit wet. And even internet was working, so I connected with Bernd in Califonia. That was also helpful to chat with him. After a long while I found out, only the little tiny sticks where doing a good job. Luckily there where a lot of it. From retreats I know, how long a night can be, and there was no way to think of sleep, because the fire needed a lot of attention. By my surprise, the hours after two went more easy. I found a good rhythm with the fire attention. The half moon came out. And I even managed to rest my whole body on the donkey seat and my backpack, so I had 2 or 3 times a 3min nap. Looking back I think it was a bit miraculously how I managed the whole night. There was no panic from the beginning. Everything calm. I have for urgent occasions also always my mohair underwear T-Shirt, that helped and all together 7 layers. It was around -5 degrees…. In the morning at 6am I felt even fresh and started walking. Later at around 9am I had a wonderful 2 1/2h nap in the sun. I left my ‚host‘ a little letter and some peacebirds in a Nivea box…… 😊😊😊
Step by step
Breath by breath
Gliding in Presence
My host from the first two nights didn’t miss a chance to show there generosity. I got a new bag for my singing bell, orientalic fabric to sew my trouser, dates, nuts, raisins, two covers, and even some money.
See more at instagram schmockelthomasheinrich
Yesterday, on the last evening in Tehran. It was quite magic. Just before sunset suddenly the air went so clear. The view was free to all the 4000th mountains at the north of Tehran. Covered with snow. So beautiful.
Directly after sunset the full moon appeared in the east. The air was so clean and fresh. The 400m tv tower stood out with some sparkling light.
A calmness was in the air even so all this traffic was beside of me.
Today I started walking east. This a big challenge not only because of the length of distance until Mashad, I saw a sign today saying 960!!!!km. But also because most of the way will be along highways or other crowded streets. And I have to be in Mashad until 6th of May, because of Visa prolonging again.
I said to Bernd yesterday on the phone, this time I don’t want only to walk, I want to ‚glide‘. Continue reading towards east
Yesterday I had a beautiful day with my lovely friend Reza here in Tehran. We went to Kings Palace, and a beautiful modern „nature“ bridge. Finally we went for a nice dinner to a cosy little restaurant. I know Reza from volunteering on Lesbos in Greece, where we shared a room together. It’s always special to meet a beautiful somehow related soul.
Sadly we won’t have a lot of time together here because I have to start walking – very probably on Monday morning . It’s a long way to Mashad – 887km by car says my route planer for a car. So this needs to be done in 54 days. That’s the time, when my Visa for Iran needs to be prolonged for another month. Also in Mashad.
Today I was able to get the 2month Visa approval for Iran already. Visa for Afghanistan can be done also in Mashad.
This is again a challenge. With all the km and time frame. Not to be or feel in a hurry. Continually enjoying all the happy moments, flowing and gliding in peace and harmony from place to place in the here and now.
Let peace continually grow on our planet, starting again and again in our hearts.
Love peace happiness