Backpacking · Geology · Hiking and Fitness · Iran · Mazandaran · Trekking · Uncategorized

Knocking out that bucket list…one step at a time!Badab-e Soort

Surprise! I am back. After a long interval of workaholism, I am finally taking a little time-out to show all one of my, somewhat, recent adventures in Iran. It was not long ago that my husband and I, along with friends and family, took our unforgettable road trip to Badab-e Soort.

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The natural terraces of Badap-e Soort, photo by me: Antonia Mosqueda

Yes, the famous Badap-e Surt (Persian: باداب سورت‎). If you have not heard of the location: it’s a natural site of Northern Iran in Mazandaran Province. The site, on a mountainside, is made up of a range of travertine terrace formations. The travertine terraces are one of the most attractive features there; they were created over thousands of years due to flowing water from two mineral hot springs that cooled and deposited carbonate minerals on the mountainside. The smell of sulfur is strong but brings about a beautiful array of colors and geological diversity to the natural site.

Now, to get to this particular site, it may be quite a ride but an enjoyable one if you like natural scenery…

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Some scenery along the way.

When you arrive at the village of Orost, an experienced man sits, selling healthy liters of Zereshk juice (Good for the heart). Buy a bottle of juice and ask him to point you to the direction of Badap-e Soort: he will do just that, gladly. If you follow his directions correctly, there will be a few men with tractors waiting for tourists; they accept a small fee to give you the bumpiest, most terrifying, and wildest tractor ride of your life. When I took these photos, below, I did not know what my body was in for 🙂 One might prefer to hike up the mountain than experience this ride, but if you’re a thrill seeker and enjoy being tossed around in the back of a rickety old tractor that rides dangerously close to the edge, this might be just for you.

 

 

Once you get to your ultimate destination, a friendly family waits there, offering tea and ash soup. Have the tour first, knowledgeable men will tell you as much as they can about the site; and they show you the main springs, indicating the ones you can and cannot drink from.

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Taking in all the beauty of Badap-e Surt.

Below are photos of a small spring that you can drink from…

 

According to some, one of the springs offer healing properties. It’s worth it to try. When we arrived the water was lower than usual and needed a good rain: however, that might have changed by now since Iran has had so much rain in recent months. I would recommend a trip there soon. I have heard from friends and family that went there as recent as this month and said many improvements have been made and the rain has had a positive impact on the site.

Don’t drink from here, but admire the beauty and the beauty the spring water creates…

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Badap-e Soort: photo by: Antonia Mosqueda
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Maybe this is how the larger terraces looked thousands of years ago, in that case, they have a ways to go before they become as huge as the others.
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Water trickled down the terraces and formed these small features that glistened as you could hear the spring water trickle down. The springs not only give this mountainside it’s color but the shapes that make it so unique.

After the short lecture and tour, offered by a kind man after buying some tea or soup: enjoy the site. Do not walk on certain terraces though: this weakens the formation, and do not pollute or stay after dark. Follow the rules, they are there to preserve this naturally gorgeous site.

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Three colossal terraces opposite of several on one side. Mohammad gives us an idea of how large they are.
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Probably the most attractive feature of the site are these terraces that change color depending on time of day and position of sun.

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The pictures above were taken at different times of day, from different angles. After, taking in all that beauty, we eagerly ran to the old tractor for another crazy ride. Going down was just as fun, possibly a little smoother!

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Photo of the old tractor: Antonia Mosqueda

 

 

All in all, it was an excellent and exciting trip, another reason to spend and get closer to friends and family like all other road, hiking, and camping trips. Hope you enjoy my little picture story and feel inspired to see Badab-e Soort or even Iran!

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