Pakistan

 

It's hard to describe what goes through your mind when crossing the border from Iran to Pakistan. Organization makes place for kindness and good natured laughter, something in short supply in southern Iran. Women stare at you with unabashed curiosity in the passport pile-up. Sweat running down my body on every surface, a Pakistani man brings out an unopened ice-cold water bottle, opens it and lets me have the first sips. I smile broadly and everyone around smiles back. I am indeed in the East.

 

The ride to Dalbandin, the first leg to Quetta, proved to be uninspiring. It's a big desert ride with no variations to a boring theme. It did get very exciting at one point where the road was under construction and a detour through the desert proved too much to handle.

 

 

Here I was, a few miles off the main road and dug in tightly, my spare rear tire functioning as an anchor in case I got a semblance of grip. I unloaded everything, carried it back a hundred feet to where I came from  and managed to ride the bike up a small hill to the right of the picture. Once unloaded, it was happy enough to dig itself out while I pushed the handlebars and spun the rear in the sand, walking alongside the bike. All in all it was a half hour of unpleasantness. It was more than 40C and in full gear, this is not an activity to savor. I followed the road riding over the hills and after a few miles encountered pavement again.

 

After a few uninspiring last days in Iran, the police escorts and getting stuck, I ended up in Dalbandin in the only hotel in town. It was one of the better ones I had stayed at during that last month and certainly the cheapest at $3.5 CAD. The restaurant attached served a variety of Indian and Pakistani dishes. Needles to say that after eating Kebabs for the last month I indulged.

 

See the links below for more details on the various places I visited throughout Pakistan.

 

Quetta

Loralai

Fort Munro

DI Kham

Peshawar

Karakorum Highway

Gilgit

Minapin

Rakaposhi Base Camp

Karimabad

Passu

Khunjerab pass

Chapurson valley

Karimabad (2)

Islamabad

Lahore

 

Pakistan slideshow

 

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Notes

- Bloom Star Hotel in Quetta lat/lon

- J.J. Guest House in Loralai lat/lon

- Medina Guest House or Jamal Guest House in Gilgit

- Tourist Park Hotel in Karimabad lat/lon

- Camp site in Islamabad lat/lon

- Regale Internet Inn Lahore lat/lon

 

Other

Repair shop (HONDA)
Malik Mohammad Bashir
Tipu Road, Near Sir Sayed Chowk, Rawalpindi
PH & Fax: 051-55.07.642
Mobile: 0333-51.39.455

GPS:
N 33 36.233
E 073 04.615

 

High Commission of India G-5 Diplomatic Enclave Islamabad Tel: 00-92-51-814371 Tlx: 825849 HICOMIND PK Fax: 00-92-51-820742

Border crossing

Visa: Yes

Carnet: Yes, but not stamped at Taftan. Stamped at Lahore with some explaining to do that I had entered the country there, as per my stamps from the Iranian side.

Bike insurance: No

Intl. drivers license: No

Entry point: Taftan

Exit point: Lahore