برای دیدن متن ترجمه شده گزارش زیر به اینجا مراجعه کنید

Russian cavers at the country of friendship.

Introducing: May be my words will look slightly strange for Iranian people, I ready to bring My pardons for it… Iran is very unusual country for Russian people, but after My trip to it I can say “I love Iran!”

Last winter I received the email message where was described very interesting trip to caves of Iran, which had our Moscow friends. As a lot of Russian-speaking cavers saw this message, part of them wanted to take part at next expedition. Mr. Yuri Evdokimov from Moscow, who organized 1st an 2nd Iranian expeditions of Russian Geographical Society, was ready to see different people at the 2nd expedition. Thus we had participants from different cities of Russia (include Ural and Siberia regions), from Ukraine, Germany and Grate Britain. In preparing to expedition I told to Yuri about My dream to see salt caves at Qesm island, and he sad Me “No problem, just buy a ticket and go where You want!” I was not alone with my dream, and I contacted with very nice man from Kungur town (Ural region), with Mr. Pavel Sivinskih, and spent with him most part of our Iranian expedition.
Our driving to Iran was based at 3 cars, and aimed for researching of Ghur-Parau cave (deepest cave of Iran) not far from Kermanshah city. The way was long and difficult, Custom’s control at two borders was not very easy, but finally 29th of October 2006 we reached the bottom of Kuh-e-Parau mountain. Here we had the meeting with other members of our expedition: with Mrs. Sharareh Ghazy (Germany) and with Mr. Simon Brooks (Grate Britain). Mrs. Sharareh Ghazy became very significant lady for us because provided good contacts and English-Persian-English translation between Russian and Iranian people. Mrs. Sharareh Ghazy helped to me and to Mr. Pavel Sivinskih to have the fly to Qesm island immediately, and asked us to take part in exploration of new Doodza cave, situated between Hamadan and Zanjan province. Thus we were in hurry to visit salt caves at Qesm and to go back before 3th of Novemner.
Qesm island became very special place for us: we never saw before salt plugs and Tri Nahacu — longest salt cave in the World, we never saw warm Persian Gulf… When we arrived to Qesm airport, we had to arrange several things here: to order back fly tickets, to buy water and bread, to take a taxi to drive to Namakdan plug. At first I was in looking for somebody, who can speak English, and I had the meeting with Imran, who works at the airport and provided grate aid to us. Imran introduced as with two Mohammed: with ticket manager and with taxi driver, also we received cell phone numbers of both Mohammed, and could arrange back fly and back driving to the airport when we could need it. Also Imran presented us very nice map of Qesm island.
In driving to Namakdan plug we saw unusual for us desert, little villages, local people at white clothes… we were at the car with air conditioner, and sometimes I thought “What we shall feel when we shall go out to the heat of outdoor?” We came to Namakdan, and were in looking for a good place for camp, with nice shadow and invisible from the road. We obtained the place not far from the entrance Tri Nahacu cave, explored by Czech cavers, and went to sleep, because we had almost sleepless nights before. We woke up 1 hour later, when two policemen visited our camp… but they had no any claims to us, just visited us for meeting and for talking. Those nice people couldn’t to speak English, and we couldn’t to speak Persian, but I had small vocabulary at my pocket and we could understand some words… even our smiles looked as a best way for communication, really!
Next days we visited several caves… we never could imagine a cave with about 30 degrees Celsium inside… 2-10 degrees was normal for Russian caves. Also we saw a lot of fantastic white dripstones off salt. After caving we had no any ways to wash our clothes, except swimming at the Persian Gulf.
At the 1st of November I went to the top of Namakdan plug in looking for a cell phone connection, just wanted to order a taxi and tickets to fly to Teheran. I had to climb at very wild places, but one moment I heard “Salam Alleykum” words not far from me… I turned my head and saw two local people who climbed not far from me, I answered “Alleykum Assalam” and we came more close together. Like with policemen who visited us before, we had strong language barrier, but at first we offered some water together, then sad some good words on Persian and English, and very nice people explained Me where I can use my cell phone at this part of Qesm island.
At the 2nd of November, early morning time, Mohammed’s taxi came to our camp, and took us to the airport. Here we saw Imran again, and he helped us to make all the necessary to fly to Tehran. We had nice fly, and made the call from Tehran to Mr. Ali Nejaei, who lives at Hamadan. Ali explained how to pass to Hamadan city and to contact with him. We had very nice way by bus to Hamadan, Ali and his father Yosef came to meet us at the bus-stop. As both Nejaei men could speak English, it was enough easy to communicate. At Mr. Yosef Nejaei’s house we had very nice communication and we could test very delicious Iranian food… Our Moscow friends told us that Iranian food is very special in Russian terms, but it looks that their wrong opinion was based at a food, taken at cheap restaurants near a roads! Mr. Yosef Nejaei, 67 years old man, is a well-experienced mountaineer and caver, I dream to be like Mr. Yosef if I shall reach 67 years old.
Next day was the Friday, and some Mr. Yosef Nejaei’s relatives came to his house to meet with foreign cavers, Mrs. Sharareh Ghazy and Mr. Simon Brooks also arrived here… then Iranian TV group arrived and we began visits to famous places of Hamadan city.
As most of the time we spent at wild caves, or at bus stations and airports, it was very interesting for us, how lives Iranian people at usual life. Russian mass-media, which strongly depends from official USA opinion, drawn Muslim people like very serious, may be even gloomy and angry people… but I saw that it was absolutely wrong! A lot of people smiled together, a lot of people who sad just “Hello!” to us… a lot of smiling men and women who hold their hands together, a lot of smiling children with careful parents. Really, we saw that women have special shawls at their heads, but it is a normal Muslim tradition, and Iranian women looked very nice because they know, how to reach harmony in wearing traditional clothes. Later on, when we came to other Russian cavers, Russian girls who also took part at the expedition, told that they never felt them so safety like at Iran… no any man had the attempting to have close meeting at the street, even at Russia any nice woman should can to defend themselves in such cases enough often.
At Hamadan city we visited several interesting places, include the famous Buali Sina Mausoleum… Iranian people who accompanied us, were amazed when Me and Mr. Pavel Sivinskih told “We know who is Abu Ali Ibn Sina, and a lot of Russians know this grate scientist too!”. But most wonderful trip we had at Alisadr cave. As we intended to make a filming here, we came to the cave at evening, when service time was over. A lot of people from Alisadr company helped us to organize this process, include Mr. Reza Asghari. We swam through Alisadr cave passages by boats, it was just fantastic! So deep and clear water, so nice dripstones at cave walls! Very nice situation, that a lot of usual people can see it now. Also we visited wild part of Alisadr cave, and Mr. Simon Brooks helped us to find a correct way to beautiful chamber with fine calcite flowers. Here we had to talk for TV, Mr. Simon Brooks and Mr. Yosef Nejaei are very significant persons here, because they took part in initial mapping of the Alisadr cave.
Next day we had a meeting with Mr. Mahmood Zareei, PR manager at Alisadr company. Our opinion about Alisadr show cave was very interesting for him, and we gave to him some advices, because I saw enough different show caves, and Mr. Pavel Sivinskih is busy in show cave service at Russia, and have a good experience in this business too. This day we also visited Sarab water cave, which situated not far from Alisadr cave, this cave was not equipped as show cave, and was more difficult for a visit. It was especially difficult for Iranian TV team, and we had to provide more aid to cameramen. At the evening we left very nice Mr. Yosef Nejaei’s house and went to Abbas Abad hostel, provided for us by Alisadr company free… it was very nice place to check our cave equipment and to live here.
Next days we had several trips the Hamadan city and around it. At first we visited Alisadr Tour and Travel Agency and had a long conversation with engineer Mr. Ahmad Hosaynee, it was very interesting for him to talk with us and with Mr. Simon Brooks especially. We talked about new paths at the cave, which can provide more visitors, but we told also about cave environment preservation.
One of caves that we visited is known as Ghale Jogh cave. It is an ancient burial cave, and Mr. Yosef Nejaei had to climb to 8 meter height rock to provide safety for our group. The cave is very interesting, but strongly damaged by people, who looked for a treasure at this cave. We had to write a special paper to Teheran to defend this cultural heritage place. We visited Sarab cave again, but without TV team, and we had very nice climbing here, and even some swimming at special water suits.
At 10th of November we had very nice meeting with the rest part of the expedition, who spent this time mostly at Kuh-e-Parau mountain, and had to survive at very difficult weather conditions. We visited Alisadr cave again, and when we were at the office room of Mr. Reza Asghari, I saw the advertisement paper on the wall… it was written on English: “Iran. The country of friendship”. I don’t believe to advertisement slogans completely, but when I recalled details of our trip, I exactly understood “The country of friendship” is not the advertisement, it is TRUE! All the people were ready to help us, we had no any problem with police, even they asked as to show passports sometimes. We had no any problems with thefts or robbers… we had no any problems with drunk people who likes alcohol, because alcohol drinking is absent here. I understand that Iran has enough different problems, but we had no contacts with any serious problem at our trip, and we hope that Iranian people will win all the troubles, and will have peace and happiness at their beautiful country.

Andrey Ostapenko
Dr. of Geography
Kuban State University, Russia.