Saeed Zaroori received his scholarship award back in the summer of 2019. He’s a journalist and inspirational lecturer in the field of adventure travel. He is also the Founder of Iranian adventurers with Disabilities Team and a highly motivated individual. Muscular dystrophy has weakened his hands and legs but could not affect his motivation and ambition. He used his scholarship to hike up the Dorfak Peak and camp there. Here is what Saeed had to say.
“My adventure started from Palang Dare village, the name of the village was scary too and it means the valley of leopards. I was on my power wheelchair attached to a trolley; the trolley could carry my extra batteries! The trolley name is Hermes, the God of travel. The road was asphalt but full of bumps. The landscapes were amazing, deep canyons full of water so near I could hear the sound of white waters. We reached the path to an ancient place called the Darband Cave.
The cave was for the earliest prehistoric human beings, occupied by them during the Lower Paleolithic in Iran! The path to this cave was not wheelchair accessible, so we used my special backpack so my friends could carry me to that cave! The path was so amazing and unbelievable; I was like paradise for me!
We spent the first night of my adventure on the entrance of this cave, thinking about the prehistoric hunters and their lifestyle. I could imagine their efforts to hunt goats, with their simple stone knives. As I was in my sleeping bag, I could imagine the hunter’s efforts to bring his huntees to this cave to feed his children.
Next morning, we went back to the road, we reached Sidash village; we had our dinner there, and went ahead to the dirt
road crossing a thick forest. The road was not too bumpy, but my peace was low. After some hours we reached the last village! Hermes was heavy for my power wheelchair on very bumpy roads. I could save my main batteries for the difficult part of the road to Dorfak Peak, just SUV vehicles can pass the road. We detached the trolley, so I continued with my power wheelchair, there were too many stones in the dirt road; I had the experience of moving on such roads! My friend, Roham, was standing behind me and he was caring for the wheelchair, as the wheelie of my wheelchair could be very dangerous! After 3 hours of moving on a very bumpy and uphill
road, we reached Dorfak peak, there were sheep flocks and shepherd dogs. Barking at us! There were some cottages in the bowl of Dorfak peak, shepherds can only live there during the summer, and the height of this peak is 2731 meters above the sea. The group was really tired and due to the shakes of the wheelchair, I had too many aches in my body. By standing on the edge of the peak, I could see a thick forest under the peak, the landscape was amazing, and I could see a lake just far away!
Tomorrow, the rock climbers were going to join us to install my bed on rocks. In the morning, the rain started! We checked the weather before starting the adventure, there was no rain! In any mountain
weather forecasting websites! The rock climbers also have checked the weather! They could not join us due to the heavy rainfall; the road was really dangerous to pass. We stayed 2 nights there! Rain finished but the road was wet! The group could not wait and we canceled the last part of my adventure! I was really sad about this unpredictable weather changing! We tried to go there again but the weather was not calm! This year, I promised myself to sleep on the dreamy wall of the Dorfak peak!
All of these occurrences are documented! We will make a short documentary film based on these efforts.”