Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week 9 - end of part 2

Mon. May 28 Bam to Mirjawa
Miles 361 (best yet)
On the road by 6.30 and drove like hell all morning to Zahedan.
Weather getting hotter again, this same hot, dry wind that really gets you down. Loaded fuel & food had a brew, and then set out on the road to the Pakistan frontier.
Drove nearly 60 miles and then discovered we were on the wrong road - our first wrong turn in over 7000 miles. Back to Zahedan & then on to Mirjawa, by the right road this time! We are camped for the night in the courtyard of the Iranian customs post, and will cross the border tomorrow.
Weather - HOT again!

Tues. May 29 Mirjawa to Dalhlbandin
Miles 209
Up early and after a solid hour spent mucking about with police & customs finally got on the road to Nok Kundi - very frustrating! By the time we got there the day was red hot. Went through the usual formalities and found the rest house.
Also found 3 girls in a land rover (as it was predicted we would do by the more ribald elements in our circle of friends!!)
Decided to spend the rest of the day making tea and trying to keep cool. By 5.p.m., although not much cooler we set off and drove non-stop to Dalhbandin. Had tea, bought fuel, & waited for the girls. When they came back we all adjourned to the teahouse.
We then got a message from John Apgar that he was broken down just up the road. We went back & got him going again while the girls made hot drinks. Drove just out of town and camped on the desert. Chased a huge spider around but could not catch it. Probably just as well. Plenty of dust devils today. We have been seeing them all across the desert.
Weather - very hot

Wed. May 30 Dalhbandin to Quetta
Miles 245
Up at 5.30. The girls did not bother with breakfast, but just drove off.
We followed with John Apgar about an hour later. Drove to Nuski where we stopped for lemonade. Off again & then non-stop to Quetta.
The last 40 miles into town was covered in an almost continuous dust storm, which is still blowing. We have established ourselves in the railway retiring room. Went out for a meal and had the worst chicken curry that I have ever had.
We wandered around for a while, then we met a Pakistani who asked us if we had met the girls yet. He then took us up to their hotel and we spent the evening talking, eating melons, and drinking soup. Met an Australian couple who were doing the trip by scooter! However, they gave up in Southern Persia & finished the trip by lorry.
Weather - hot & dusty

Part 3: Quetta to Singapore
Thurs. May 31 Quetta to Jacobabad
Miles 222
Had a lie in till 9.30 this morning. It was beautifully cool at nearly 5,500 ft. Wandered down to the hotel that the girls were staying at and chatted & stretched in the cool.
Spent the early afternoon shopping and drove away from Quetta at about 4pm and headed down the Bolan Gorge through most impressive scenery.
Lower down we went swimming, twice, in really good rock pools. Met up with the girls and Yankee John at the second one. Continued on down the Gorge to the Indus Plain where it was really hot.
Drove to Jacobabad and found the circuit house, a palatial place. We had a suite of rooms to ourselves including showers, a kitchen, and even a fridge. Turned in at about 1am. under a big electric fan. The girls had a breakdown today, no petrol.
Weather - hot & dusty to hot & humid.
Figure 3.1: Jacobabad

Fri. June 1 Jacobabad to Panjnal
Miles 260
A very early start, up at 4.30 and on the road by 5.30. Nobody had slept very much anyway on account of the heat. Drove to Sukkur where we parted from John Apgar. He is going down to Karachi, while we are heading north to Lahore. Later on we had a stop and when we left, the girls were having a difference of opinion - so we left them to it. 
Figure 3.2: Sukkur
We drove on & on, getting sweatier & sweatier until we reached the R.Indus again at Panjnal and there was the magic sign 'rest house'. In we went and installed ourselves.
The bearer brewed tea & fetched water for us to bathe in and bathe we did. Then we stretched out and relaxed for a short time until the girls arrived. All is well. Bloody good company, these girls. Spent the evening trying to keep cool.
Weather hot & humid.
Sat. June 2 Panjnal to Montgomery
Miles 210
Up fairly late and on the road by 10 A.M. Drove halfway to Multan and stopped to eat a huge melon by the roadside. Then drove to Multan, did our shopping, changed money, and then pressed on.
Found a quiet little spot just below Montgomery, on the banks of a canal, where we could brew up and eat melons in peace, while sitting in the shade. Got to Montgomery & found the rest house. We had to get permission to use this one! It is very smooth with shower, fans ― the lot.
Weather - hot.

Sun. June 3 Montgomery to Lahore
Miles 187
After our best night’s sleep for ages, got moving about 8 am. and drove to Lahore. After centuries of British influence, everything was shut on Sunday, and this in a Muslim country!
Drove nearly 80 miles looking for a place to kip, tried the circuit house, boy scouts, Y.M.C.A., railway stations and eventually penetrated the dwelling of the British Commissioner. 
Figure 3.3: British High Commission
He, at first, said we could stay there but later found that he had got his wires crossed & we couldn’t.
However, after an ice-cold BEER, our first since Ankara! He told us to try the Salvation Army. We did and they gave us use of a bathroom & permission to sleep in the grounds. Very nice, too.
Weather - hot & sticky.

No comments: