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Walking across Iran
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Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Re: ugly blind and stupid on 01/29/2010 14:40:00 MST Print View

If you read my previous posts you would understand that I am committing on the Iranian Theocracy, not its people.

I actually do think this country would have been better off if other nations had boycotted the Bush Regime after the illegal invasion of Iraq. No invitations to world gatherings and a blanket "no" to any visit by Cheney. I'd suggest the same for the current administration if the U.S. stays in Afghanistan, considering the viability of that nation's supposed government.

Your previous commentary was directed at me and my comments so I find the title of your last post disingenuous. You were referring to me personally, which is not the level of discourse commonly seen on this forum.

I'm going backpacking for the rest of the weekend, enjoy your rant...

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: ugly blind and stupid on 01/29/2010 14:53:20 MST Print View

Your judgment and condemnation of what's just a person's trip report is not the level of discourse commonly seen on this forum. Mine was just to put you back in your place -- and maybe educate you a bit -- although the latter was obviously wasted.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
iran. on 01/29/2010 15:24:04 MST Print View

> I actually do think this country would have been better off if other nations had boycotted the Bush Regime after the illegal invasion of Iraq. No invitations to world gatherings and a blanket "no" to any visit by Cheney. I'd suggest the same for the current administration if the U.S. stays in Afghanistan, considering the viability of that nation's supposed government.


But, again, this point is all about Governments, not about people.

Sure the France government could've/should've said no to a Cheney official visit, but do you really think all individual French people should not have visited Yosemite or Death Valley for eight years?

So... He walked across Iran. He saw some beautiful, historic countrysides. He met amazingly wonderful people. He didn't make a political statement. Sounds like a great trip, and the world would be a better place if more of that happened.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Respect on 01/29/2010 15:53:58 MST Print View

For anyone and everyone.

MYOG project. From nothing assemble a tree that lives and grows, produces fruit and shade. This tree should also with a backdrop of a morning sunrise in a clear blue sky provide the beauty of nature and home to its sweetly singing feathered inhabitants.

Can anyone on this site provide a link or help to get this project done?

IMHO; Oh that's right it was done many many many years ago for us. Never mind. I will just be thankful and continue to enjoy the beautiful gifts of this world.

Party On ! 2010

Newton

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Thanks, Mark, for telling it like it is. on 01/29/2010 18:09:34 MST Print View

Many thanks Mark, for a sensitive, spot on perspective on Iran told as only one who has spent time there could do. I lived there in the mid 70's for 7 months, and your impressions mirror my own. I hope everyone who reads this thread pays very close attention to what you have written. That would give me hope for a better future for both our peoples now face.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Offensive? on 01/29/2010 18:11:49 MST Print View

"I don’t care if you find my comments offensive, especially if you do not share that same feeling toward the actions of the Iranian theocracy."

Then perhaps you should not mind if others find your comments offensive as well.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Offensive? on 01/29/2010 18:27:40 MST Print View

Wow,

You guys need to take a hike!

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Walking across Iran" on 01/29/2010 20:37:12 MST Print View

I just want to voice my support for Mr. Reeves' right to hold AND express his opinions.

The way I read it, Mr. Reeves "perceives" (comes across) that the walker is an apologist for the Iranian regime and Mr. Reeves obviously holds some strong opinions about that regime.

It didn't seem that offensive to me and I disagree wholeheartedly with the notion that Mr. Reeves should not be allowed to express himself in an open forum, as I think Mr. Tang suggested.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Rory Stewart on 01/29/2010 22:01:26 MST Print View

Walked across Iran as well as Afghanistan. He was hard to discourage. Typical stubborn Scot ( and I'm not btw )

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Rory Stewart on 01/29/2010 22:30:25 MST Print View

Cola:

Wonder what the time frame was? I can't imagine any casual hiker walking across Afghanistan this day and age. Hard to believe that Taliban-infested place used to be right on the liberal, hedonistic hippie trail from Turkey to India! Maybe that's what caused the hapless locals to bank so hard to the right!

Luckily, we still have a few old farts here who can remember. Calling Tom Kirchner...ouzel... :)

zachary anderson
(snatch) - F
Re: Re: Rory Stewart on 01/29/2010 23:32:30 MST Print View

thank god the Taliban has a proper name so that if some place is ridden with "badguys" we can distinguish them from the people. I see the arguments from both sides, and agree with parts of each. I think the neutral and sensitive reporting of the walk across Iran gives us incredible insight, especially being ignorant, arrogant Americans. Take the blog for what is it, and blame America for what it does right as well as what you think it has done wrong.

now... lets talk about the landscape of Iran, I'm interested in the highlights :)

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Rory Stewart timeframe on 01/30/2010 03:04:43 MST Print View

I recently watched a documentary about Lawrence of Arabia presented by Rory Stewart. His walk was in 2000-2002 and he went on to become a deputy governer of a province in Afghanistan in 2003-2004. He is from an 'old school' establishment family, and i believe he also teaches at Harvard. Not your average guy. :)

Edited by MikefaeDundee on 01/30/2010 03:24:06 MST.

Mark Kalch
(proexplorer) - F
Re: Iran on 01/30/2010 03:27:24 MST Print View

Hi Mark,

It's funny that sometimes when you are in the midst of a tough journey that all you can think about is kicking back at home and then all of a sudden in the middle of a hard climb or tough camp the mind gets to work on the next big one.

I passed through what must be 2 of the most magnificent mountain ranges on earth in Iran, the Alborz and Zagros. This got me thinking - how about some good summits all mixed up with an extended expedition? With that in mind I have a couple of mates interested in doing something in the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan (a safe bit they assure me!). Failing that, somewhere in a former Soviet state looks interesting. You know, a big mission to climb a mountain which is called Peak 23 or Peak 47 - not a trophy climb but something super interesting to meet the people and explore the geography.

All very early days yet, but the seed is sown! Stay safe.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re : Rory Stewart timeframe on 01/30/2010 04:58:25 MST Print View

He's very cagey in the book about his background - but in one interview I read he let slip that he'd tutored Princes William and Harry. So it's fair to presume that he is very establishment.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Stewart on 01/30/2010 07:04:22 MST Print View

Hello Benjamin,

The book is December 02 January 03 was the time frame for the walk across Afghanistan. The initial overthrow of the Taliban had just occurred and "things" were still in a relative state of confusion.... but in hindsight it may have been the brief window of time in which such a walk was possible.... as no one knew who really controlled what and lapsed/lost control had yet to morph into active resistance. Sort of a flight and regroup type of period. Stewart evidently walked across Iran earlier. This was all part of a larger walk from @ Kurdistan all the way to @ Bhutan? Centered to some degree on following, at least in Afghanistan the route of the Emperor Babul founder of the Indian Mogul dynasty I believe.

The book is a very good read ( at least I liked it well enough to read it twice....... the second time round after the announced Afghan "surge" in order to re-acquaint myself with that part of the world) and will give you some understanding of village life in the hinterlands of Afghanistan as well as a better idea of the role the Muslim faith plays in their daily life and also the complexity of regional/ethnic/tribal?/cultural differences in the area. It's a real swirl.

Mike Reid I googled Rory Stewart and discovered he's "standing" as I believe is the term for MP as a Tory. Interesting and would seem to confirm your impression of his "old school" background.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6973793.ece

If he's standing in Cumbria would that disqualify him as a Scot? ;)

Loved this quote. "Five people told me they hated Appleby because they were roundheads and Appleby was with the royalists in the civil war."

It is snowing as well as snowy on the Outer Banks. A rare and wonderful sight in this cold wet windy place. Snow falling on cedars.

Edit to add: One thing I love about Rory is his reflection and study and emphasis on the essential human-ness ( didn't want to confuse the issue by terming it humanity) the human-ness of walking. As everyone here would agree it is what we do.

Edited by obxcola on 01/30/2010 07:11:40 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Stewart on 01/30/2010 09:25:58 MST Print View

Cola -- thanks for the info! Gutsy guy.

Amazing folks -- both Mark and Stewart!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Stewart on 01/30/2010 09:30:22 MST Print View

@ Mark:

Howdy! Iran has been on the top of my list for the last decade or so. Reading your TR has made it even more irresistable! I want to go! Would you mind if I ask you some questions regarding itinerary and logistics -- say for a month or so there -- with primary focus on culture and history -- and secondarily on Nature (I know, I know, a heresy here but I love history)?

I am thinking of doing this trip next year (I've already picked Myanmar for this year -- hopefully no one will think I am "selling out").

I tried to PM you but you don't have an email set up. Can you let me know your email -- either here -- or via write2ben at ymail dot com? Thanks!

Edited by ben2world on 01/30/2010 09:33:40 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Rory Stewart on 01/30/2010 17:16:28 MST Print View

"Wonder what the time frame was? I can't imagine any casual hiker walking across Afghanistan this day and age"

Just after we invaded Afghanistan. As he neared Kabul, he almost got himself killed when he was traversing country where the Taliban were active. It is a very interesting read, as he took the road less travelled, north of the main road running from Herat to Kandahar to Kabul.

As for the "liberal, hedonistic.....trail", the hippies were merely tolerated because they paid ridiculous prices and behaved well in public. Outside Kabul and maybe Kandahar, the locals were as conservative then as they are now, if not more so. That was my impression. A group of Peace Corps kids I ran into as they were leaving said it was really primitive back in the hills. From what I read now, including Stewart's book, it seems as if not much has changed, except the hippies with hash pipes running around in sandals and beads have been replaced by guys with guns wearing sunglasses and boots. Apparently they are not as well tolerated. ;}

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Iran on 01/30/2010 17:23:39 MST Print View

"With that in mind I have a couple of mates interested in doing something in the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan (a safe bit they assure me!)."

Hi Mark,

Greg Mortenson is operating up in that area, IIRC, building schools, etc. He used to climb in an earlier life. He might be worth getting in touch with if you are serious about the Wakhan. The Central Asian Institute is his organization and I'll bet you could contact him there.

"a safe bit". A relative term in that part of the world. Best of luck and I look forward to your post if you pull it off. It doesn't get visited very often by Westerners. It would be one heck of an adventure.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Rory Stewart on 01/30/2010 17:25:46 MST Print View

"thank god the Taliban has a proper name so that if some place is ridden with "badguys" we can distinguish them from the people."

Unfortunately for us, in a significant swath of the country, they are the people.