LOG ENTRY 14

Dalbanden – Quetta
350 km

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.  
After the great night in Dalbanden we gave the head of the compound –who turned out to be a town chief as well- a T-shirt and some other things we didn’t really need.

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. 
Picture
On the way to Quetta
After arriving to Quetta we found the Custom Office fairly easy. Quetta is not a very small town but still so many farm animals straying (or looks like to be straying) on the streets. So after fighting our way through the donkey and horse wagons we got to the Custom Office where we supposed to meet the soldier to collect our passports and hand it over to another soldier who will take it all the way down to the border. 

Picture
Welcome to Quetta
The Custom office is more of a refugee center by the way. We are in the year 2005, the war in the neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq is going on. The backyard of the custom office is filled with tents and cars and hundreds if not thousands of people.

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. 

Picture
The Kandahari Bazaar, Quetta
Brilliant, so what’s now, no passport, no hope to getting it back today and it seems like we might even stuck here for a while. At least we don’t feel threatened. Pakistanis have a talent to tell you bad news in a way that you feel ok with it.

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. 

 


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    Aurel Jr. and Sr.

    The Riders:

    Aurel Maracsko and his son Aurel Maracsko jr. 

    We are a father and son duo who loves riding motorcycles. Aurel Jr. or Tom is an enthusiast enduro rider and Aurel Sr. is more of the adventure rider. 

    Me, a combination of Tom Sawyer and the Little Prince, adventurer, dreamer and a crazily enthusiast rider. Jules Verne was the ultimate hero of my childhood, his foresight's of the future and exotic adventures fascinated me to a level which still influences me today. I believe the constant thirst for exploration and the need for learning is the key engine for every adult just as for every child.


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