We were hoping to have had the worst bit of road when we leave loralai and head towards Multan. It’s already very busy on the street when we leave early in the morning. Everywhere men are doing some sort of business and the whole place seems one big chaotic market. Still there is no women in sight. Our hope for better roads disappears quickly when the road deteriorates again. Within no-time all tarmac has disappeared and all we can see is one big mudroad. We just can’t believe this is the major road between Quetta and Multan. The sundried mud makes the car and us rock from left to right and we are happy to have the extra set of springs and comfortable seats installed. Otherwise this would have been impossible.
The road is a single lane road and everytime we have upcoming traffic we have to get of the road. This also to avoid stones against our window. With clenched teeth we wobble onwards at a pace of 20 k an hour. Sometimes the road changes in a brand new one which gives us hope, but 100 metres further the road changes again into an obstacle course.
Then we arrive at a point where the road has been washed away by a river. What to do? We look around us and see we have only one choice. Go through it? By the looks of a passing truck the water is deep and there are some dangerous potholes in it. We decide to give it a chance and pull back first to gain some speed. In second gear we hit the muddy water. The bus is rocking heavily from left to right on the uneven hidden surface but the wheels keep their grip. A wave of mud hits the car higher the mirrors. Then a loud bang and an iron scraping noice. We are shocked and wonder if this the end. But the car keeps moving forward and the noice disappears. Soaking wet and fully covered in mud we reach the other side and with a pounding heartbeat we park the car to check for damages.
The front of the car is completely covered in mud but no visible damage. Underneath the car everything looks okay as well. Then, to our relieve, we see that only the licenseplate on the back is bent. The mud however will become rock solid when it dries so we have to remove it. With a bottle of water we remove some of the mud from the head and brakelight so we can continue our journey. Then a truck passed by and we are handed a huge melon. We see it as some sort of trophy for crossing the water!
Half an hour later we come across a fresh water river and clean the car completely. Just as we are nearly finished a car stops and a man opens his window. ‘there is no point in cleaning now, many more crossing to come” We can’t believe it but by the looks of his car he is right. We continue our way and yes he was right. Luckily for us not as serious as the first one. We continue all days at a snails pace, cross several rivers and clock 200 kilometers in just over 10 hours. When we arrive at Fort Munro we debate whether to continue or give up. We choose the latter and need some rest. Tomorrow another day… 250 k to Multan!