Over The Cloud

Dear Readers,

I would like to share a true story with you. Ever since I was a little girl Probably beginning at age four or five my mother would tell us stories about travelling by horses and living in the mountains during the summer times. There were not just stories to me there were the explanation for many things about her family roots and mine too. I never had the chance to see this place she visited and lived during her childhood until summer of 2012 .

When I visited this little piece of Heaven, I had a lump in my throat and tear in my eyes from happiness. Finally I did what I have always wanted to do. Following my mother’s path .

On the road to Alborz mountains through the jungles in north of Iran, my imagination exploded by remembering my mother’s stories while I was only four or five years old .Now I was walking the same path my mother walked seventy years ago as a child and stayed in their summer house during the hot summer days. North Of Iran always meant so much to me, It is a place of my origins that most of my memories took some shape or form there.

It’s amazing that I am finally able to visit the place of my mother’s stories. I remember lying on my back with my brother at nights and listening to her while she was telling us about her childhood and wondering if I would ever be able to see the place myself.

While growing up I was always dreaming about achievements or going places and many other things. Honestly those dreams that I had when I was growing up are so pale now because our lives always develop in a different way. One of the dreams that always stood vivid and shiny in my mind was visiting a Place called Dakooh In Alborz Mountains and the village of Balendeh ( It Means the highest)

It really does not matter if your dream comes through or not, dreaming is definitely sparks excitement within. Those who do not dream are stuck in everyday’s life drama and those with dreams have always something to look forward to/Now I was visiting a place from my mother’s childhood, a place she once called home during the summer. The visit was highly emotional for me.

.I never thought the day would come, but I finally had the chance to see it in person. We woke up at 4:30 in the morning to start our trip. We were a group of eight people with our guide.
My Husband with my two brothers, my sister in law and two of their children.

While we were approaching it, I was remembering all those stories from my mother or grandparents and marveling at the fact that I will be able to see it. We started our trip by car but continued walking the mountains for the last part of the trip about two hours.

Upon arriving I was left speechless I couldn’t believe I was actually there. I couldn’t believe I was finally seeing it for myself. God was this heaven on earth? It was 8:30 in the morning and we arrived at Balendeh . We arrived hungry and tired. It was a hard road to take even today and I thought I will never make it to the end.

Our Guide directed us to his elderly father’s home. Immediately they had a wonderful breakfast of hot tea made with fresh spring water and homemade cheese and butter and Fresh baked bread. It was heavenly. Their generosity to welcoming us was amazing. They allowed me to help them making more fresh sweet breads in the afternoon and they packed the breads for us to take home as gift. My parents enjoyed eating them.

After resting and eating breakfast we went to find the house that my mother and all her family spent the summer time there. The place that made the landscape of their childhood.

The house was still there made with mud and stone. As I sat on the porch I could imagine my mother and all her sibling’s everyday life there, playing hide and seek or picking up wild flowers or carrying fresh spring water from behind the house or helping their mother to make bread in clay oven for dinner. We were able to find the big stone with a big hole. My mother’s favorite spot to hide. She told us that she took her younger brothers and sister there and pretended the hole in the stone was their home and play there.

I found delight in finding the big stone with hole in it, my mother’s hiding place and other physical futures of her childhood house. I am so glad that I was lucky enough to visit this place and gaining voluble perspective. I am sharing some of the pictures with you and if you ever want to visit this place here is how you can get there.

Dakooh can be accessed from the north via the seasonal village of Kia Neshinan. Most climbers, however, reach Dakooh via the summit of Reka Poshteh Peak (and ultimately Ghobi Peak) to the south The starting point for the hike is the village of Roodbarak to the southeast. From the summit of Dakooh, you can continue north to the seasonal village of Kia Neshinan (2400 m). You will then descend into the Caspian Forests until you reach some of the remote nameless logging roads and find your way to the coastal plain.
Distance from the summit of Reka Poshteh is 1.5 Km (Total hiking distance from the village of Roodbarak is 24.6 Km).

To continue north to the seasonal village of Kia Neshinan, hike down the easy northern slopes of Dakooh, past Peak 3483 m (bypass it to the west of it). Before reaching the saddle with the Shah Rashid Peak, veer right (east) and gain the top of a very broad and slowly descending ridgeline that heads northeast (follow this ridgeline on the south side of it until at 2700 m you reach a Shepherd House (Goosfandsara). From there you can follow a trail to reach Kia Neshinan (2400 m)

Distance from Da Kooh to Kia Neshinan is 8.0 Km.And from Kia Neshinan 2.0 km to Balendeh.
Beware that finding your way in the dense foggy forest can be quite difficult. We happened to have a very kind friend as our guide.

Roya Ghodsi

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