Zagros mountains

Right Eating Habits While Trekking

Do you know one of the main pillars in your good performance in trekking is your nutrition? But why is having suitable nutrition so hard for so many mountaineers? And what can you do to have the best possible nutrition while you’re on the road? Well, we will show you how. Let’s start with a little planning that we do every time to have the perfect choices. We hope they will help you too. Following these tips pave the way for your having a safe food experience on your next adventure!

Food while trekking

Forward Planning: Our First Tactic

“A good traveler has no fixed plans”  Lao Tzu

Spontaneity is good, but not in eating. We need to be prepared in advanced for our trip. With a little planning, we can prepare nutritious food and snacks that will keep us filled and energized. Know the length of the trip and the food you need to take with you. Being selective about what you are going to eat seems quite rational. Otherwise, there are chances that we may experience dizziness, body pain or cramps.

Carbohydrates: Our Main Source of Energy

Generally speaking, while we are trekking, we may be tempted to overeat because our body works out so much. So, keeping a balance, matching our exertion level and making smart food choices are of great importance. The more we eat, especially of food with little nutritional benefit, the tougher it can be on our body.

Carbohydrates while trekking

On the other hand, nourishing foods, those which are high on carbohydrates can be quite helpful. Because they prevent proteins from being burned and they need less oxygen for metabolism. Eating the right kinds of carbohydrates is of great significance. Complex carbs are the perfect choices, since they get released slowly into our system. They sustain our energy and keep us going for hours.

The right choices would be whole-grain products, beans, lentils, potato, and fruits such as banana, nectarine or dates. They are absorbed more slowly, thus they give us more energy. That is why we will feel energetic for a longer time. Also, it is worth paying attention to unsaturated fat, because they improve the absorption of carbs. Nuts (like almonds or walnuts) are highly recommended.

Nomads’ Diet: Our Ideal Solution on How to Eat While Trekking

When it comes to going and seeing the Nomad tribes, Like Samuel Johnson some may think; “Worth seeing, yes; but not worth going to see.” But I want to say the exact opposite; Apart from all fantastic and first-hand experiences one can achieve in this trip, there is one great practical experience considering their unique life style and eating habits.

In our last trip with Bakhtiari tribe, when they shared their food with us, we got to know more about their healthy diet. There was something wondrous about their physical agility and untiring efforts in taking care of the herds, which is undoubtedly the direct result of their eating habits. For example, the day they were supposed to start their migration, they had bread and their special butter in the morning, since they believed they would help them bring out the best in them. And then during migration they had mostly bread as their snacks.

Dairy products are so common among them; fresh milk, local butter (they call it oil), natural yoghurt, and cheese (all made by the delicate hands of Nomad women). These were mostly used in the morning and during the day whenever they felt like it. But the point is that with all these dairy products they had their handmade, delicious, and healthy breads. As we know, breads are the best source of carbohydrates.

Baking bread

nomadic woman baking bread

Another common food among the Nomads is lentils with rice (polo). Lentils again, as it was mentioned above, are highly energizing. There is another common food among the Nomads; Kale Joosh, which is really healthy and delicious. It is made of Kashk, mint, walnut, and vegetable oil, and it is rich in calcium and protein. So, we can see how their special diet is also rich in carbohydrates. Their eating habits should be considered more seriously if we are about to have the same life style, going on adventure and trekking for some long hours in mountains.

 

Opting for Healthy Food

Due to the fact that what we take has a crucial impact on our performance throughout our trip, mindless eating is out of the question. An energetic start is a result of a full and healthy breakfast. Although our body longs for Caffeine early in the morning, it is the worst idea ever, since it results in dehydration!

Wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner are our friends, if we want to have stable energy during the day. Since carbs are the best source of energy, it is advisable to have them in all our meals. It is also recommended to avoid chocolates or any sweets and junk food, even a week before starting our trek. It is said that sugar candies tend to cause sore throat on heights. Healthy alternatives to them are nuts.

Fruits in traveling

We can also have fruit, eggs, and nuts in our breakfast. Eggs keep us off from sore muscles and help replace broken-down muscle protein. It is also recommended to have snacks every two hours, in order to prevent us from untimely craving and maintaining our energy during a long hike. Fresh fruits like apples, pears and bananas, and vegetables like carrots and celery are preferable. Bananas are awesome.
Food tips for hiking
The nutritional benefits of bananas are due to the fact that they contain a lot of carbohydrate. So, we can have them even before trekking to boost our performance. Dry fruits, seeds, raisins, walnuts, pistachios, dates and apricots are also advisable. They are rich in vitamins, proteins, fibers and minerals, and they provide the required nutrients to our body. They also take care of our hunger.

Food while trekking

Peanut butter with bread can also provide us with the right energy for trekking. It is packed with healthy fats and calories and it boosts our energy. No doubt, our body will thank us for them.

Last but not least, the importance of vitamin B should be considered. If we are after a combination of speed and endurance in our trek, we need to make sure to eat foods rich in vitamin B, such as fortified cereals, whole grains or dark-green veggies.

Staying Hydrated

Along with wholesome meals, it’s extremely important to drink sufficient water, in order not to feel dizziness, fatigue and lethargy. It is best to drink every hour of trekking to stay hydrated. So sipping regularly is much better than drinking up the bottle at once.

Zagros mountains

Keeping hydrated prevents from getting cramps, and the oxygen in the water compensates for the low oxygen level in high altitudes. But the point is that the amount of water we’ll need for our hike depends on our fitness level, the intensity of our journey, the weather, how long we are trekking, our sweat rate and our body. However, about a half liter of water per hour of moderate activity in moderate temperature is recommended.

Wrapping it up: Avoids Following Items

Better to avoid any food that includes high sugar level, junk foods, canned products (they have no essential nutrients), meat and chicken (they contain too much fat), cookies and candy products (they have no essential nutrients). There is a certain logic to it: our performance is affected by what we eat.

Adventure- nomadic adventure

What is an adventure?!

“Let’s go on an adventure!” “I need a bit of adventure in my life” “You should be more adventurous”

It’s very likely that you’ve used these phrases or heard them from those around you. They might conjure up images of a Indiana Jones-esk character walking through dense jungles or someone in a tuxedo jumping off a plane. It may remind you of the travel blogger you follow on Instagram who takes photos in far away deserts and oceans. Do a quick Google search and you can find endless articles on how to be more adventurous. But how do we define an adventure?

Dictionary.com will give you the definition that an adventure is an exciting or very unusual experience. It also states that it can be a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome. Exciting, unusual, risky; these are all very subjective ways of describing our experiences.

Not everyone finds the same activity exciting or risky. This subjective perspective applies to how we each define adventure; it’s unique to us and our own exposure. For example, a tourist, born and raised in London, might find a several day hike following the legendary migration path of the Bakhtiari nomads to be the most adventurous journey she has ever embarked on but for the nomadic family it’s just ordinary life. They, along with their ancestors, have been making this journey twice a year for centuries.

Then maybe a more practical definition would be to say that adventure is what pushes us out of our comfort zones. Your comfort zone is neither positive or negative, but simply the collection of settings in which you are most at ease. However, there are benefits to temporarily breaking free from the boundaries of this zone and challenging yourself. By challenging yourself, you will get a sense of empowerment. You are doing things you never thought you were capable of and here you are doing it! This and the new setting around you can make you feel alive, inject some energy into you after years of doing the same routine day in and day out. The change from the ordinary can suddenly give you a new perspective: a new perspective that can teach you valuable life lessons.

Even after you’ve returned to your familiar activities, chances are you have pushed the limits of what used to be your comfort zone. You have made yourself more adaptable to new situations and reduce the anxiety you used to have when stepping out of this zone. You will be more open to taking risks, risks that help you grow as a human being. Many of us don’t take these risks because we are so afraid of failure and block our own development with this fear. Researchers also say that the little bit of stress caused by temporarily stepping away from what we are comfortable doing is actually a healthy type of stress. This state allows us to be more creative and perform at our peak.

Now don’t worry, I’m not telling you the only way you’ll get these benefits is if you do a trip around the world in 80 days. You can start right at home. Tonight, instead of having dinner in your usual spot, make a picnic and enjoy it in a park surrounded by the beautiful outdoors. 

picnic in park at night

Tomorrow, after work, go explore a part of town you’ve never been to or go to a restaurant from a part of the world you don’t know anything about. Sign up for a sport or dance class you’ve never tried. And yes, you can start planning that dream trip of yours. Even if you don’t have the financial means yet, just planning it may teach you so much about the history, culture, and people of the place you plan to visit. You can never have too much knowledge!

So go explore! I’ll see you soon on top of the Zagros mountains 😉

top of the zagros mountains

Black tent Bakhtiari

An adventure among the authentic people

15 MAY 2018
OUR FIRST DAY IN ISFAHAN 

In the early morning of a beautiful spring day we had our breakfast in Mah Bibi hostel, and then our fantastic trip started.
On our way to Charmahal Bakhtiari, we passed Mavarz village in Bazoft district. We had our lunch in a very nice villager. As soon as we entered their house, what really attracted my attention was the spectacular scenery of thick, white clouds; something we don’t see very often in cities. They seemed so close as if one could reach out and touch them.

 

Mahbibi hostel

 

Mavarz Village

In Lebd, somewhere among beautiful mountains we gave our car to a local guy, and we joint Mr. Khorshid (= sun) Mokhtari, the father of the nomad family we were supposed to accompany them in their spring migration. And then our epic journey on foot started.

Trekking in Zagros

After a four-hour hiking among magnificent Zardeh mountain ranges, and visiting natural attractions on the way, finally we reached the summit of a mountain from which we caught the glimpse of the family black tent, in a place called Jam Jame’.

 

They are a family of nine. Khorshid, the father – Tala Sadat, the mother – the two oldest son and daughter were not with the family (the daughter is married, and the son is in military service) – Zeinab, 15 years old – Bahman, 17 – Ziba, 10 – Hanifeh, 6 and Yasna 6 months.

Bakhtiari family

Each one of them had their own responsibilities to take care of. The male members of the family were mostly in charge of the flocks and shepherding. Also, the female members of Nomadic families were really hardworking. They took care of almost all works. For example, Zeinab was responsible for baking bread, doing housework, fetching water, cooking food, washing dishes and clothes, etc. Ziba was mostly in charge of fetching wood for the fire. Hanifeh, who herself was a little girl, looked after her younger sister Yasna, while their mom was busy milking the animals. One can say that Ziba is Yasna’s second mom, as she is mostlly looking after Yasna. And the mother, with her impressive role in all the above-mentioned tasks, was giving hand to everyone. Their days start really early, around 5 am, going to shepherding.

Bakhtiari family migration

Words are incapable of describing the generosity of spirit of our Nomad host and the beauty of the scenes created by their kind hospitality. During these days, they provided us with the best, most fresh dairy products ever. They served us with handmade cheese, butter, yoghurt and dough, kept in Mashk, in all meals, and also even during the day. All were the most delicious ones I’ve ever had. And we tried to have active presence in preparing the stuff, as if we are also members of the nomadic family.

milking goats, zagros mountains

Among the things that picked my interest was the Nomad’s simple lifestyle. Since they need to travel light, all their belongings were limited to a black tent, clothes, blankets, and food. They used some hand-woven bags, made by mom and the girls, to carry the stuff.

Bakhtiari dish

I’d never forget the moment I saw their lovely tent. The scenery was so awesome that I spent some time taking in the beautiful scenery; a unique combination of high mountains, green valleys and springs. Too lovely for words!

At night, we got together in their tent, and after some friendly chats with the nomad family, they sang us local songs, and we listened to their hunting stories.

BAKHTIARI NIGHT

 

The second day, beginning of the migration

The next day was the day of migration. Having no idea what awaits us during migration made us even more excited. Early in the morning we had our hearty breakfast (since we were supposed to have a long day before us, everybody was served with Ghee), then we packed our things and set off on foot with the large flock of goats and sheep. I was moving at the head, the flock was after me, and the others were shepherding the flock from behind, so that they wouldn’t go astray. All could be heard was the sounds of the flock. The most exhilarating experience one can have. We walked the path towards the mountains. The weather was perfect, and the sceneries were fantastic that we had to stop to take in the magnificent mountain sceneries.

zagros goats

The mules and donkeys moved the family and the belongings. Whenever there was a downhill, the girls would leave the mules to walk. Yasna, the little one, was left in the care of Ziba. During all those hours in valleys and mountains, she was carrying her little sister with great affection.

Finally, after some lovely hours among great mountains with all those lovely sheep and goats, we reached the so-called site we could camp. It was somewhere close to the River, which was a long, mighty and fast-flowing river. The name of the area was Rousta (Aston Melab). After some days, we found the chance to wash our bodies in the chilly water of the river. Then, we had some lovely cup of teas.

heights of zagros

 

Nothing but Iranian Kibab could refresh us more at the end of day. The father of the nomad family made his mind to kill one of the sheep, the one which was hurt quite accidentally by a stone, slipping on his hip. Its fresh meat became our dinner. A lovely kibab with fresh meat. A real Kibab to its very core.

Bakhtiari kebab

Third day, visiting villages

The following day we stopped by Zerk village on our way to Khoya. It was our first telephone access after three days. No exaggeration to say that it was the most fantastic village I’ve ever seen. All peace and tranquility, with no never-ending hustle and bustle of the urban life. We were hosted by Mr. Derakhshan’s nice family, whose house was surrounded by great mountains and there was a nice river in front of their house.

 

beautiful zagros

They had four lovely children, two daughters and two sons. The girls made me a beautiful doll, they called it Lal (means mute; since their dolls have no mouth on their face)

bakhtiari doll

The boys mostly playing with long thin sticks and tyres, and the girls used the empty houses for their Khale bazi (a girlish game that mostly girls play, in which they act as if they are grown up women with kids. They act like their mom). They were playing happily with their simple toys; if you can call them ‘toys’. They were playing with things which were no longer of any use to anyone, and they were really happy with what they had.

 

The women of the village used a special kind of herb, called Mountain Tarre, in their food, which was really great. They picked it themselves from the surrounding mountains, and it gave the food a pleasant taste.

I wander around the village and the girls showed me their school. A small and simple class was all they had as a school. There were so many drawings all around the class, which proved their interest and talents in art.

Zerk village

Finally, when one of the local guys brought us our car, we said our goodbye and left the village. I wished I could stay more in the village. Everything was perfect and I’m sure I’ll miss them soon. Our next destination was Khoye village, which was a more developed village in comparison with Zerk. We stayed the night with Mr. Abdullahi’s family, and we had some friendly talks about their lifestyle and routines. The same as all villagers’ houses, they also had guns and a dried goat on the wall, the goat the father had hunted while he was a young man. They had a nice ‘hoz’, hen house

zerk school

and a beautiful garden in their yard. The next morning when we wanted to leave them, they gave us dough and local butter (they called it oil).

 

Sar Agha Seyed village

What is the next village? Sar-aga-seyed! We stayed there for some hours. The first thing that attracted my attention was the wonderful view of the village which was totally different from what we’d seen so far. The village was a stepped village and it was as if the roof of one house is the yard of the other.

Sar agha seyed village

The women of this village also picked the same ’mountain Tarre’, dried it and sold to the tourists.

We had our lunch with Mr.Isfandyar, who served us with a delicious soup made by mountain herbs, apricot, mushroom.

سراقا سید

Here again we could see the same design in rooms decorations They also had electricity, so there was a small TV on a .شیردانگ؟؟ ledge, in a corner of the room. From the room where we were having our delicious lunch we could see a wonderful view of Zardeh mountains which was so impressive.

سراقا سید

The village was also famous for its salt mines. They were somehow on the outskirts of the village. Back then, when having salt was rare and difficult, these mines were of great use. Though, villagers still use them.

Koohrang Spring was the last breathtaking place we went. As we were moving ahead on our way towards the spring, we had no idea what we are going to visit. The fact that we could have no image of it … not until we got so close to it… was so amazing. Suddenly, the most magnificent spring came to view. It was really breathtaking…an enormous amount of water was falling down and a beautiful scenery was lying before us. Too lovely for words. It was so great that we stayed there for an hour just to take the scenery.

A trip with the Iranian Nomads is a trip like no other, don’t miss it!

Being deeply in touch with nomadic families, experiencing their genuine and intact simple lifestyle, doing their routine activities with them, such as shepherding, baking breads, milking sheep and goats, hearing the nice sound of goat and sheep bells all through the day

 

are just some of the fantastic experiences I’ve learnt in this wonderful trip.

 

together in zagros mountains

Unique adventure that few countries can offer

 

together in zagros mountains

As I selected an non-typical tourist country, I wanted to have an unusual experience and learn more about local and isolated cultures. In several travel blogs, I learned about one of the largest nomadic inhabitants in the world, located in Iran. I searched for Nomad.Tours website and I contacted them. It was important for me to see that already somebody went on such a trip before me, and regarding the correspondence, I had the impression that I talk to some serious people that I can trust. I chose a 3 day tour, but for the same payment, they offered me to join the day before in the neighboring city.

Since I visited nomads in February, outside the migration season, I was the only tourist on this trip. The tour joined the organizer, a guide and a cameramen. About the tour itself you’ll hear a bit later, but I want to point out that it was the team that made my time unforgettable. If I just could “turn off” the language, it would be just as if I went with my mates to Zlatibor in Serbia. Later, during my stay in Tehran, I realized that Iranians and Serbians are very similar in their mentality – they have smilliar sense of humor (including black one), they are very much related to family and friends and love to spend time together.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-IT3cxM3Xav5qpvLDZDalOPzWrKF4Ci9

After meeting with the organizers in the morning, we left with a 4WD car into the mountains. At the foot of the mountains, one boy was waiting for us and he took us to the nomad family where we going to sleep in the coming days. It hasn’t been a long time when I completely lose my mobile signal. In the mountains, smartphones can hardly catch the signal.

For the next 3 days, I was living with nomads who, even for majority of Iranians have a specific lifestyle. Most of the Iranians I met later were surprised by the photos I showed them from the tour. Nomads in Iran rarely abandon their lifestyle, thus preserving their uniq culture.
During the 3 days of my stay I lived as a nomad. The day would start with a traditional breakfast, then we would go to hiking. We visited improvised schools for the children of nomads, neighboring villages and waterfalls.

Mountains, like the ones where nomads are living, I didn’t see in my whole life. From the desert which is only 30km away, mountains are raising with peaks above 4000m. In cliffs of the river and rare plains, nomadic colonies have made temporary houses from stone, clay and clays of in which they remain 6 months a year. When the drought comes, they pack and put hundreds of miles together with the herd of cattle, going to their new home.

While my family, friends and colleagues organized a general search through the embassy because I forgot to say that I would not be available for three days, I was on one of the best journeys. Crude experience, untouched nature and still intact destination. I’m sure that in 5 or 10 years, nomadic trips in Iran will be a world-famous journey.

passing goats

Zeitreise

Ein abenteuerliches Urlaub mit Nomaden in Iran!

Wenn Sie für ein einmaliges Urlaub sind, wenn Sie ein echtes prähistorisches Leben der Nomaden auf der Suche nach neuen frischen Weiden hautnah erleben möchten, wenn Sie für das Wandern über das ganze Jahr von Schnee bedeckten höhen Gebirge und durchqueren der Flüssen in den tiefen Täler sind, wenn Sie doch ein Ort des Massentourismus vermeiden und für ein lebendiges Miterleben des Nomadenlebens sind, dann sind Sie bei uns richtig.

Wir ermöglichen Ihnen ein einmaliges Erlebnis, zusammen mit Nomaden eine wilde Landschaft in SW Iran wie vor tausend Jahren mitzuerleben. Sie nehmen mit Nomaden in ihrem YAYLAK (die Suche nach neues Weidenland) teil.

Der beginn des Wanderns liegt bei Ahwaz, die Hauptstadt des Provinzen Khousestan an der irak. Grenze im SW. Irans und endet im Zentrum Iran in der Provinz Isfahan.

Die Reise geht auf den flachen Land weiter über die Höhe Zagross Kettengebirge und Täler.

Sie genießen die Gastfreudschaft der Nomaden beim Rast am Abends, während tagsüber als ein Teil der Stämme, alles abenteuerliches beim durchqueren der wilden Landschaft miterleben.

Die Teilnehmer an unser Nomaden-Tour erleben ein Hautnahes Abenteuer in der Begleitung unseres Teams. Unser erfahrene Mitarbeiter stehen Ihnen bei Seiten und begleiten Sie um die Uhr. Wir organisieren auch einen deutschsprachigen Begleiter für Ihr Nomaden-Tour, der Sie über die Geschichte der Orte und Leute informiert.

Teilnahme in unserem Nomaden-Tour ist eine bewusste Entscheidung zum Erhalt einer traditionellen “Zeitreise”, die im Allgemeinen von der modernen Zeit gedrängt wird. Die Globalisierung schonte auch die Nomaden nicht. Neben der Urbanisierung ändert die “Motorisierte Reise”, also motorisiertes YAYLAK, das Nomadenleben. Ein großer Teil der Stämme folgen nicht mehr dem traditionellen YAYLAK. Nicht mehr die Maultiere, sondern die LKWs transportieren die Einrichtungen ins neue Ort.

Der moderne Trend mit Kraftfahrzeuge zu reisen, hat zwar viele Stämme von Nomaden überholt, nicht aber die Stämme von Nomaden Tour. Unser Team besteht aus den Leuten, die sich für den bewussten Erhalt der Nomaden Tradition einsetzt. Wir bemühen uns von der Massentourismus fernzuhalten, von der anderen Seite unterstützen wir Bakhtiaris in Ihren mühsamen Wandern nicht nur durch die Abgabe der großen Teil des Unternehmenseinkommens, sondern auch durch die Teilnahme an Ihren aktuellen Leben, von Schulung der Kinder bis medizinische Fürsorge usw. Mit uns