Originally our plan was to try to cross the Dasht-e Kavir by camels. We had tried to find good camels months in advance, but early got indications showing this could prove to be very difficult if not impossible. After asking around in all the villages in the region and meeting personally with the most experienced camel men, we realized that camels for riding is already history.
The only man that still had camels used for riding refused to join us on the desert crossing because he claimed that it was impossible and too dangerous. He was indeed right about the dangers, which are described and explained thoroughly by Hedin. There are large areas of bottomless mud in the desert and these pose a serious threat to both camels and the even heavier cars. But still it is not impossible to cross the desert, it is just a risky endeavor that can take a huge amount of time if you get stuck.
Fortunately we had a plan B and two of Iran’s best off road drivers in our sleeve. Mehrdad and Babak knew the risks with this mission but were willing to give it a try. The mission did not go without mishaps, but we finally made it to the southern shore in only three days, which is fast, but roughly the same speed as Hedin did it in with camels.