When I Realized that Hitchhiking is a Must in Iran


It was the first trip in which we were fully ready to embrace hitchhiking. A perfect combination. A girl and a guy. I was sure we wouldn’t have any difficulty getting a ride. Because Mahzad is really beautiful! She just needs to give the driver a glance and the driver will stop right next to us so we can say:

Hello! We’re going to Gonbad Kavus. Can you give us a ride? Till wherever you can?


Yup, we’d decided to go to Gonbad Kavus and check out Khalid Nabi Cemetery. And to keep our adventurous eyes open for any other cool sights on the way and check them out as well. We made this decision at night and made it happen in the morning after. Got on the subway and we got off on the final station so we could start our hitchhike from there. This way we’d get to Gonbad by night. In addition to Mahzad’s majestic eyes, I felt pretty confident because before this I’d done a couple of hitchhikes. I knew it’d work and we could make the four day trip solely by hitchhiking in Iran.

By the time we’d gotten of the subway it was raining. Those kind of rains that only happen in spring. The kind that’ll make you happy instead of gloomy. We got on a taxi. Our hitchhike still hadn’t happened. The driver asked:

— Where’s your next stop?

— Mahzad: Rudehen.

— Diver: Well, my house is in Rudehen. I can get you there if you want.

— Me: Honestly we don’t have any money. We wanted to get a ride from a passing car.

— Driver: I’m a passing car! I’ll get you there. No problem.


And in that moment Mahzad and I where feeling ecstatic cause our first hitchhike was so pleasantly and surprisingly found.

Now that we knew we’ll at least be together for half an hour, we started talking. Where money is cut out, communication begins to spark! We soon found out that he was a Turkman and in fact from Gonbad Kavus. So we told him that we are actually headed there. It was interesting for him. And for us too. Overall, it was a good day. It had a great beginning. Somewhere along the way, he leaned towards the windshield, look at the sky and said: “You know, if the weather stays good, and the road isn’t crowded I’ll take you guys to Gonbad Kavus myself.”

He was joking. Right!? I mean I don’t know but his tone was somewhere in the middle. You couldn’t quite tell if he was joking or being serious. IT’S A SEVEN HOUR RIDE! 500 KILOMETERS! He has got to be joking!

We got to Rudehen. We passed Rudehen. I told the driver (his name is Amin):

— This is Rudehen, right?! Wasn’t your home here? Isn’t it the time to say goodbye?

— To be honest, I haven’t been to Gonbad for a long time. I miss my children. Now that I’ve found companions I really want to go there.


And this was the first time that road hit me with a magical shot! We got to Gonbad by night and Amin invited us to his house. We ate Chekedrame for dinner. Chekedrame is big thing in the Turkman area.

I’m sure in that kind of situation what they meant was that we should spend the night there too. Turkmen will never let their guests spend the night somewhere else, it’s impossible. Especially if their guest is traveling and the place they planned to sleep in is a tent. In the park. Say hello to Iranian hospitality!

In the morning, after breakfast we started our hitchhike to Khalid Nabi. We got to the road that’d lead us to Khalid Nabi. A quiet road that only has two or three small villages on the way and in the end it’ll lead us to the unearthly Khalid Nabi cemetery. The weather was great and the universe was calling us to join the adventure and stay on this adventurous road. Come with me so I can take to the beautiful road of Khalid Nabi and show you its enormous Grain Fields.

About the author

Ershad Nikkhah
I'm Ershad, 27, from Iran. I'm the enemy of "you cannot hitchhike in Iran." I'm gonna not only prove that statement wrong, but also show you guys that this country is the paradise for hitchhikers, adventure travelers, and those who want to deep dive into the unknown and drench themselves into untouched cultures. In this blog I'm gonna let you in on the experiences that Lonely Planet missed in Iran.

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