9. Men with a mission
So, there we are. In Shadad, a small desert village, with our Troopy on a 6 hour desert drive far away in the dunes. We’re quite worried; what if someone finds our car? Our tour guide Ali helps us finding mechanics and tour guides (he leaves to India so cannot come himself). It’s a full day of calling, arranging, some more calls and well, some more calls. Luckily, a mechanic we’ve met before can help us and knows where to find a new part; in Teheran. There goes our hope for a quick fix. But it’s ok; they send it with a night flight from Teheran to Kerman. And indeed, it is delivered the next morning. Let’s start the rescue! We drive from Shadad to Kerman, where the rescue will start.
Sunday morning 08:00 AM, we wait at our hostel in Kerman. The mechanic and a colleague of him have picked up the clutch at the airport and meet us at our hostel. Packed with water and some food we get in the car. We absolutely have no idea about the plan, so we have to let go of all control (which is quite challenging) and just go with the flow. Sunday morning 08:30 AM: we change taxi’s. With this taxi we drive 200KM from Kerman to Bam. There we hope to see the offroad cars which will take us into the dunes. Because sunset is already at 16:30, we know we have to hurry. But hurry is not in the plan. We stop at a date factory and get invited into de Director’s office. It’s a Don Corleone type of man, showing us all about his business. He asks us if we know the route to our car? Ehhh, no, we thought you would know? We feel kind of discouraged. We eat (obviously) dates, and after a while we understand we have to wait for the offroad cars a little longer. We get a nice lunch, but it’s difficult to really enjoy it, not knowing when we will be reunited with Troopy.
Then after 2 (long) hours we hear the sound of some offroad cars. We run outside; we see two Toyota’s and when they stop, 2 men jump out. They’re not much higher than 1.60, wear serious sunglasses and based on their outfit look very technical & professional. They don’t smile but just start packing the stuff that we brought: men with a mission. Immediately we feel confident that this mission will be successful. At 14:00 we hit the road and after a few hours we’re back in the desert. The group: Two cars, 2 tour guides, 1 brother of the tour guide (we’re not quite sure what his role is, and still do not know), 2 mechanics and ourselves.
We understand that the original plan is to drive to our Troopy that Sunday, the mechanics will fix the car in the night, and we will drive with Troopy back to the city Monday morning. But when it get’s dark, the tour guides decide it’s too dangerous to drive further into the dune and that we should make a camp. With all our camp stuff stored in Troopy, we have not much more than a bag with water & food. But our men with a mission came (obviously) prepared. We make a fire, eat from one big plate and when we’re about to sleep, they give us 2 sleeping bags and a tent; a pleasant surprise! Tired from the day, we fall right asleep, not even noticing the hard sand we sleep on.
Monday morning 05:30. In 10 minutes (yes, these guys have a mission), the camp is packed, no breakfast (because we have a mission) and we start driving again. The dunes get more challenging but we see Troopy’s GPS location getting closer. At 09:00 we see Troopy! Around 09:30 the mechanics start the fix; they do an absolute great and quick repair in the middle of the desert. In the meanwhile, we bake some eggs in for the team. To make the adventure complete, suddenly a guy on a motorbike crosses by. The guides tell us to stay away and start talking with this “Iranian tourist”, and then he leaves. We are even more glad that we have started our rescue mission on time..
12:30: Dune driving again in Troopy! We feel like the happiest persons ever. But the high dunes remain challenging; the turbo has some troubles (for those interested: a torn turbo inlet pipe that blocks the air intake when the turbo is actually trying to suck more air in..) and therefore we often lose power & speed at the moments we need it. The mechanic fixes the turbo with an old t-shirt and we manage to get Troopy out of the high dunes. Once in the flat area, Tropy drives perfect again. With a beautiful sunset we drive in a few hours back out of the desert. Super super happy and ready to give Troopy a well deserved treatment in the garage. At the moment of writing everything is fixed (luckely it was more sand cleaning than fixing) and we have our car/ home back again; ready to hit the road!