LOG ENTRY: 13
ODOMETER: 6150 KM – 6564 KM
Zahedan – Mirjhaven – Dalbanden
Sadly leaving Iran and crossing over to Pakistan where our passports quickly got confiscated which it turned out works for our favor.
The morning started pretty well when they charged us half price than we agreed last night for the hotel. We don’t know why, maybe just the different receptionist last night told us a higher price or the one today liked us for some reason. Before heading to Pakistan we scheduled a quick oil change for today. Petroleum products are very cheap in Iran and also they are very decent quality wise. Apart from the cheap petrol they have all sorts of engine oils and fuel additives, all for a very cheap price. We heard that the fuel will be more expensive in Pakistan but half of the country uses Iranian smuggled petrol which you can buy on the side of the road from barrels.
The Iranian side was very crowded and we ended up waiting four hours to get checked out. After we gave the passports in we had to visit a few different counters where officers came and checked our bikes, making sure that they are the same bikes we came in with. The absence of the Carnet de Passage is painstaking and will starting to get costly from here. Surprisingly when we paid that 200 dollars on the other end of the country they made the effort to phone down here and let them know that we are coming, after all the money wasn’t a bribe as we thought at first.
Departing Iran brought up all sorts of fears in us. Seeing the Pakistani side and thinking how we going to get in and whether the absence of the mystical paper –which was the Carnet as we found out later on- will get us in any more trouble or whether the Pakistani people will be as nice as the Iranians. Lots of question which we were about to find out.
The soldier soon arrived and took our passports, he will take the bus to Quetta and then to Lahore and he will give the passports back at the border in Waga. We offered the guy to come with us on the bikes –we were just joking but he took it seriously- but he got scared after seeing the size of them. Luckily he didn’t come with us because he would have sat behind me and after we left the border I had a small crash.
So after 3 hours and lots of teas we are sorted and on our way to the first night’s reporting place Dalbanden. On the way we encountered military/police checkpoint where we had to write down our details in a huge, Harry Potter like book, drink the compulsory tea and tell the same story at each point about our trip.
When we arrived to Dalbanden it wasn’t exactly how we expected our first town in Pakistan. It was small, dirty and rather scary looking. It turned out that the confiscation of our passport is the luckiest thing happened to us so far. There were no camping or motel in town and wild camping seemed a bit risky anywhere near the town so staying in the closed military compound looked like our best option.
As we arrived to the highly protected compound the guard didn’t understand at first why we are there but after a few minutes of activity style sign talks they got the leader out who spoke almost perfect English. We showed him the paper we got at the border and he was more than happy to let us in and accommodate us.