Road to Quetta

We are both still spining of lack of sleep when the first curious man arrives. ‘Sleep good?’ he asks. When we say we had not, he tilts his head and looks dissapointed. Then some more men arrive and they all stare at our morning rituals.

Half an hour later, at around 7, we hit the road after saying goodbye to all the friendly men of the Nok Kundi custom house. The road is still in a good condition but we know this won;t last for a long time. Here it’s still possible to drive 90 k an hour except around militairy custom checks and railway crossing when there are invisible but very high speedbrakers.

When we drive into the first major town, we are stunned by what we see. The village is dominated by the trade of illegal fuel from Iran and streetlife is dominated by men in their typical long baluchistan shirts. In fact, we don’t see any woman at all. Here and there, men are cassualy carrying kalashnikov machineguns and the town had a violent streak to it. But the men all smile and wave when they see our funny campervan full of stickers pass by. We are happy to have safely passed the village as we were warned of lawlesness and occasional violence in baluchistan and that the use of guns is normal.

The desert countryside is phenomenal. Enormes sanddunes creep across the road, which at this ppoint has changed into a single lane highway, camels that strawl across the desert and for the rest emptiness as far as the horizon. We share the single lane road with overloaded massive and beautiful decorated trucks, horsecarriages and occasionaly a crossing camel.

The day last longer then we had hoped for and the continues beating due to the bad surface of the road does us more bad then good. When michel gets sprayed by petrol due to an overpressure in one of the jerrycans, it becomes too much. But 10 minutes or so on the back seat and new clothes do the trick. Elles has also a downer as the refreshing melone we bought isn’t ripe and we are set back to drink hot water again not to become dehydrated.

The temperature keeps a steady 45 degrees and the strong desert wind keeps beating into the side of the bus when we arrive at another custom check. It’s already five o’clock in the afternoon and still no sign of Quetta. We decide to ask and when we are told 300 kilometers and a very bad road we can say we lost our last bit of spirit. But a quick look at the map and calculating how far we have driven already tells us that the men must be wrong and probably doesn’t want to loose face. Fortunately it appears he is wrong as it is 30 kilometers, unfortunately he is right in terms of the road. Save the best bit for last doesn’t count here. The road deterioates every kilometer we drive untill we reach Quetta, tired, dead tired!