2 days on Hormuz Island.
2 days on Hormuz Island. An Island made out of nothing but salt. A display of the most beautiful colours give this Island it’s nickname: Rainbow Island.
After a bit of history classes in Shiraz and Persepolis it was time for the last stop: Hormuz Island.
We arrived at 6 o’clock in the morning at Bandar Abbas. From where the ferries go to Hormuz Island, located in the Persian Gulf. Our timing was perfect because as soon as we arrived at the terminal we found out the next ferry was scheduled in half an hour! Perfect. Also it was the only ferry going, because the sea was too rough to sail to any of the other islands.
Since we arrived at the hostel at 08:00 the owners decided to give us some nice breakfast! Before we started exploring the village of Hormuz.
Hormuz Island is about 60 kilometers away from the main coast and has always been a trading hub. Even Marco Polo visited the island on his travels along the Silkroad. In the early 16th century it was the Portuguese that settled on the island. Using it as a trading hub and as an emergency stop for ships coming from Goa(India). In order to protect the island the Portugese build a fortress on the Island to protect it from other invaders. This fortress is still there(or well, its remains).
The nightbus was quite bumpy so we lacked a bit of sleep. But nothing a bit of coffee can’t fix. We found this nice little cafe on the “boulevard” of the village and enjoyed some coffee. While melting in the heat of the sun.
Later that day we met two cyclists(Pierce and Nick) at the hostel and spend the rest of the afternoon sharing travel stories. Another traveler we met on the island recommended us this tiny local fish restaurant. So we decided to check it out. The owner did not speak a word of English so we had to resort to our seafood sign language skills to explain what we wanted. Apparently we were not as clear as we though, so the chef decided to bring out the fish, squid and shrimps caught earlier that day!
This was probably the best seafood I had ever had. So fresh and full of taste. Accompanied by good company we had a great evening.
Day 2: motorcycle time
Ever since coming to Iran I fell in love with the little Honda motorcycles. Probably because it reminds me so much of my first motorcycle that I owned. So what better opportunity is there to explore Hormuz Island on motorcycle?
As you might have noticed, most of the Island is red. The Island is covered by vulcanic material and because of the little rain there is a lost of salt. Like a lot, the Island basically consists out of salt.
No helmets are not mandatory on Hormuz. Neither is a driving license or front brake. Luckily there is also little to no traffic on the Island.
Our first stop was the Rainbow Valley. From this point we could have a good look at all the weird looking rocks and colours. Different layers of colored rocks on top of each other. It almost looks surreal, like out of a sci-fi movie. But super cool nonetheless.
It’s not just one spot that looks like this but almost the entire island. It’s very surreal driving around in these surroundings.
Next stop was the Valley of statues: Bit of a weird name but the weird shapes of the rocks form statues of animals if you use enough imagination. Getting to the valley is pretty fun, from the main road it is a bit of a walk. Climbing for the last bit we reached an opening into the Persian Gulf. Hard to imagine Oman is just right on the other side of the big puddle.
Our next stop is probably the most famous one: Red beach. A beach with nothing but red sand. The red sand in the swells of the sea makes it often look like there is blood in the sea. Another reason for me not to go into water! Unfortunately the red beach is been getting a bit less red over the years. Recently black sand has been surfacing. It still looks super cool and unlike anything I have ever seen before.
From here we took our speed machine to a view point of Turtle Beach. Every year in march turtles come here to lay there eggs in the sand. It being november we didn’t see any turtles but the view is still very exciting.
Elisa has never ridden a motorcycle , so what better place then a beach in Iran for her first lessons? After a few failed attempts she got the bike rolling and mastered the art. We spend the hottest part of the day just relaxing on the beach having some lunch and racing our mean speed machine on the beach.
On a poster in the village we noticed a stop called: Gazelles. Confused what they meant by this we headed over here. There sure wouldn’t be any Gazelles on this Island right? As we drove of the main road we noticed a few animals running/jumping away. About 5 minutes later we got a good look and saw a gazelle walking not that far from us. COOL! So there are Gazelles, exciting.
What a fun day, felt good to ride a motorcycle again! Back at the hostel we said goodbye to Pierce and Nick and took a quick snooze before going out for some food. After 100 meter we ran into Pierce and Nick again and we decided to go for a coffee at the place we went the day before. At that coffee place we also met a girl that we met 3 weeks earlier in Tehran, who was working at the hostel we were staying in. Small world while traveling huh?
Asking her for some food advice she found a local who wanted to cook for us. Fresh sea food again? Home cooked. How could we say no to that? She told us to come back 1,5 hour later and she would bring the meals.
While enjoying this beautiful sunset we enjoyed some home cooked fish.
Initially our plan was to take the ferry to Qom Island, but as we found out our ferry to Dubai has been moved forward by one day because of the bad weather coming. Meaning we would have to go to Bandar-e Lengeh to catch the ferry the next day to Dubai. Ending our trip in Iran could not have been better after the two great days on Hormuz Island!