Breakfast at Kerman was to provide two welcome surprises. The first was normal bread, the second was a fried egg, bliss! Fed and watered we boarded the coach and began our trip towards Bam, a mud brick city that was destroyed in an earthquake a few years ago. En route we stopped at Rayen, another mud brick city that is still intact. After touring the city and being told off by locals for walking on the city wall we took the usual plethora of photos and headed to the public gardens opposite for lunch. This was an obscure but enjoyable combination of tuna, tomatoes, bath mat bread, boiled eggs and cold jacket potatoes. After some fun and games in the playground where we found swings, slides and a broken see-saw it was back on the bus and off to Bam.
Today’s bus journey was also the day we worked out how to hook up one of the OzBuser’s personal video players to the coach TV. This meant coach time enhanced by some Family Guy fun.
Bam was another fine example of Iranian scaffolding as the city is still in the middle of a major renovation since the earthquake. After a guided tour of the city it was time to head to our hotel. Due to the recent disappearance of a tourist in the area we were “advised” to stay in our hotel and not go out. By this stage we had also acquired a military escort. Once we had checked in it became apparent that the advice to stay in the hotel was more of an order. Access to the internet was “not allowed” despite the presence of a wireless network (this had been mysteriously disconnected from the web). A pool, sauna and steam room raised hopes for all but unfortunately, being Iran, only men were allowed to partake. Needless to say many of us still went for a dip and a steam and enjoyed it a lot but it was tainted by the fact that the women were not allowed for no good reason. The girls were allowed to go for a bike ride around the hotel grounds on tandems and apparently those that did had fun and even managed to outrun the pack of wild dogs.
Dinner was overpriced, under warm and unimpressive but fancy bathrooms and nice bath tubs cheered us up a little before bed.