Waking up before the sun rises is how we start the day, I quickly pack up the still wet tent from the dew and get the car ready to go, Asareh takes care of the coffee, which is in the travel mugs this morning for the drive out to save time. We start working our way up the mountain road as far as we can get and find a shelter with animal corrals, this is as far as the wagon can go, from here it’s a 2-3km hike to the fort.


The morning is clear and the sun has peaked, the walk is a bit brutal but there is natural springs along the way to refill your water bottle. In order to get to the fort, you crest a first range, which has a narrow path where the guards could monitor from the fort.



With minimal complaints we started the final climb, and let me tell you, the view was incredible. According the wiki, it is built at around 2500M with gorges that surround it ranging from 400m to 600m, that’s a long way to fall. Some are vertical, others are so steep climbing will be attacked would be impossible.

The fort itself is in decent condition and was the last stronghold against the Islamic regime. After sitting and enjoying a cookie it was time to walk back down the mountain, I am stopped by a small family group, who have obviously seen the Australia plates on the car and pieced together this is the only white guy here. We stop and have a chat. They are very friendly and are going to see the fort as it has symbolic meaning to those against the religion. The father promptly shouted “F*ck Islam” from the mountain side before we left, which funnily enough was the only English he knew.


Time for breakfast, so we find a nice field to pull up in and set out making eggs and sausage. A quick and easy meal while the cat plays in the long grass. Our drive today winds along the Armenian and Azerbaijan borders, which are all fortified, fenced off and have some serious infrastructure for the army near by. The Iran side is calm in comparison.

We reach Jolfa and grab some chicken for our last night in Iran before heading to an Airbnb for the night. Its always nice to have a relaxing morning and a shower before doing a highly stressful border crossing. We spent a large portion of time on the porch looking out over the mountains in the distance.

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