LOG ENTRY 14
Dalbanden – Quetta
The day when we cross the mountains of Balochistan and arrive to it's capital Quetta and spend the night in an Afghan refugee camp.
The way to Quetta is about 350 kilometers but it is even worse than it was a day before. The quality of the road is similar with more frequent holes but what really cracked me up sometimes is the traffic. From the border to Dalbanden the traffic wasn’t heavy at all. Mainly there were trucks but not too much passenger cars or other weird kind of rolling vehicles. This has changed on the way to Quetta, lots of cars and really all sorts of vehicles on the road slaloming between the holes and other incoming vehicle.
As we are from Hungary and drove in most of our life on the right side, Pakistan’s left hand sided traffic is challenging sometimes. Not much of an inconvenience for me but Dad -with his twenty plus years of driving on the other side- is struggling sometimes. Today one truck almost hit him as he was on the wrong side of the road. By the way wrong side, it seems to me that every side is a wrong side and you go wherever you find some space.
Before we arrived to Quetta we had some very scenic mountain passes which we and the bikes really liked. The road also tended to be better here but on the way up we had to fight through our way many slow or broken down trucks.
As we finally met the soldier in the hallway of the office we showed the way up to the guy where we have to pay an extra 400 rupies charge. We assume this is for to cover the soldier’s trip here and back to the Iranian border.
For our biggest surprise the 400 rupies charge quickly escalated to 4000 rupies, our soldier disappeared and it looked like that no one started to understand English. As we later found out they made a big deal out of not having the carnet and they are waiting for a decision from their superior which may come tomorrow but until then our passports are held back.
Just in case we called up the Hungarian embassy in Islamabad to find out what are our options and got a clear answer that we should leave the area immediately, we shouldn’t be here at the first place and they can’t help anything. Oh well, we set up the tent in this “very dangerous” and “very scary” backyard of the custom office with hundreds of Afghani refugees around whom are actually super nice. They are keep coming to us with fruits which they pick from a tree and they are also invited us to eat with them.
Mom, as you could have guessed is freaking out back home and trying to solve our paper issue.