During the expedition we will live to see a lot of adventures. Interested in how we live through this expedition and how we managed to succeed in our plans. Here you can read our daily adventures! Enjoy!
We get up early to be in time at the Chinese Embassy. We feel tired as we have not slept at all because of the shooting incident of the night before. All night we have been busy with the things that had happend around us questioning ourselves what to do. Dreams can tell you a lot and can be a forebode of things to come.
We head to the embassy after a quick breakfast and because one road was blocked we had to take another road. We keep driving in the direction we think is right and because of this we arrive later at the embassy then wanted. Later it appears we have been very much lucky taking the wrong road.
Hundreds of people are outside hoping to obtain a visa. We hope to get it in one day. With a big smile and words as ‘we love china’ we manage to bypass the group and get inside. Then we do the same ‘we love China trick’ and manage to get it done the same day. To pick up the visa we have to come back at one o’clock and leave the embassy in joy! Okay, we felt sorry for all the men waiting outside.
We head back to the guesthouse were i start to write and michel washes the car. Then at one o’ clocke drive back to the embassy where we collect the visa. After a quick lunch we go back to the guesthouse to clean the car from the inside.
When we are nearly finished a Landrover stops at the guesthouse and a english chap and his german girlfriend jump out. I say hi and then notice that they are a bit shaken. The campsite where all overlanders were staying has been attacked and all cars are demolished. Thousands of people had hit the streets after the death of the member of parliament and started rioting. Then a group of a hundred men saw the cars on the campsite and stormed it. With sticks and stones they attacked the cars and broke most windshields. Two dutch couples tried to save their car but with no luck. Another women tried to save her car as a man was trying to rip out the cars steering wheel. When she begged him and told him it was her car he looks bewildered, sais he is sorry and leaves. Then we hear that the mob also destroyed a foodmarket, burned a petrol station as well as a cinema killing one person.
The couple has been lucky as there were only a few dents in the car. The other overlanders weren’t. We were lucky to have taken a wrong road that morning as we would have driven straight into the mob! According to the couple all embassies advise to stay in guesthouses for a few days in the safer area we are in. But we don’t feel safe as we had not felt all night.
We look at each other and decide to make some enquiries. The Dutch embassy appears to be very helpfull. Not! A lady from the visa section asks us to dial another number. The next person transfers us to a guy who doesn’t know anything and can only forward the call to someone else ending up at the lady from the visa section again who hangs up on us. What to do? We decide to call the headoffice of SOS in Lahore to see if they know someone in the area that can asses the situation. We feel bad to fall back on SOS but see no other option with SUCH A HELPFUL EMBASSY!!!! Lahore is happy to hear we are okay and give the number of the vice president of SOS, Mrs Safia Awan, in Islamabad. She is wonderful and explains that the area we are in is not safe at all as it is close to the main mosque and violent processions can happen.
We have to move to another guesthouse, one which is safe and where we can park the car out of sight. Mrs Safia knows a perfect place and as the situation is volatile arranges a security guard and someone to pick us up. By this time we weren’t laughing anymore. We pack the bags quickly and pay the room. Then when security arrives we drive to the SOS-office to asses the situation as we had plans to leave the next day. This appears not to be a good idea. We leave for Mrs Safia’s house where we have a drink and later are invited for dinner. It takes quite a bit of time to relax but after a few drinks we can laugh again. As it has become late we are asked to stay the night at Mrs Safia’s house. An offer we can’t refuse as we need a very good night sleep. Luckily we do!
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