Saturday, June 18, 2011

Geo Ex, Our Leaders, and My Traveling Companions

Geographic Expeditions (or Geo Ex as it is more often known) is the group that organized and ran our tour called Treasures of Persia, listed as “21 days of Moderate Touring.” Geo Ex has been leading tours to Iran for more than 18 years and is extremely skilled.

Our trip leader, on the Geo Ex staff, was Carolyn McIntyre who lives in Yemen and has an extremely deep knowledge of the entire region. She was born in Scotland, has a great sense of humor as well as a reassuring presence in the face of sand storms and the like.

Reza Mirkhalafzadeh was our Iranian guide. He was unbelievably well informed about every aspect of Iran—the history, culture, politics, whatever—and was also articulate, good-humored, and patient. Both brilliant and thoughtful, his erudition astonished me at every turn. He and Carolyn worked beautifully together on all the logistics of our trip. It couldn’t have been better.

Our bus drivers, Reza and Mohammed, were an important part of the success of the tour. Not only were they experienced drivers, they provided our tea and cookie breaks along the road, had hot tea and cold water at hand on the bus whenever we wanted it, and on several occasions made us our lunch, including here at a farm on the way to Yazd.

There were ten of us on the trip, ranging in age from 66 to 82.The fellow in the middle wearing the hat owns the farm where we had lunch. He grows apricots (2000 trees), peaches, pomegranates, and grapes and drives a John Deere tractor.

No comments:

Post a Comment