Hormuz Island and Kawrestan, Iran
You need a scarf and preferably some kind of face covering in this part of the world in summer. The wind is searing – it seems to fry the very air in your lungs. But it is the excessive humidity which leaves you wilted like a steamed lettuce after about 5 minutes. The boat crossing to Hormuz took about 20 minutes – I was sitting on some blankets on top of some plastic gasoline containers which I had not quite realized until I looked down and saw one pale blue linen trouser leg covered in petrol……. Arriving at Hormuz Island, a bedraggled fire hazard, we now had to set about finding someone to drive us round the island. . We were rescued by a man who came to the quayside driving a decrepit, red Toyota pick-up but to us it was a Mercedes limousine.
Our ‘fixer’, whom we had met on the boat and was related to said driver, now decided that he would drive the pick-up, but the car seemed to have only two gears one of which was reverse, and when the engine cut out as it did when you changed gear, it had to be hot-wired to start again as the key had disappeared long ago. Fortunately for us he quickly realized that his skills, considerable though they undoubtedly were, did not include driving a finicky pick-up and he quickly called back the owner who had over the years familiarized himself with the idiosyncracies of his vehicle. The island might only be 6 miles long, but for a moment it looked like the chances of us getting off the pier, never mind round the island were remote at best.