The long haul to Lahore

We leave Fort Munro at about 8 in the morning after cleaning the car a bit. Elles had not slept very well as we had found a small scorpion in the bathroom the night before. The room had not been occupied for a while making it a perfect breeding ground for such creatures. We buy some petrol in the village from a kid who is selling it from jerrycans and hope the petrol isn’t dirty. It looks good for 35 roepia per liter instead of the official 31.8 roepia and we start our journey to Multan. We brase ourselves for the bad road to come or better, which never came!! A perfect road leading into the state of Punjab, sometimes even double lane turning driving into pleasure again. The road leads through villages, past pieces of dessert and we enjoy the beauty of the rivers and wetlands.

One river however had different plans and washed away a piece of road. A truck had tipped over turning the place into chaos and causing a small traffic jam. At first we have no idea what is going on untill we see the fast flowing river. My god!!! But as traffic is pushing behind us we have to cross before identifying the situation. We plunge into the water and keep driving slowely in second gear. All the men on the embankment are cheering but we can’t laugh. Just as we pass the tipped over truck, the backwheel suddenly hits a huge pothole making the whole car shiver. This is it…….., this is the end we think for a splitsecond. But ‘hippie’ doesn’t know what stopping is and and with a bit of effort the wheel gains it momentum and continues. This time our heart is pounding so fast that we can’t say a single word. We are happy to reach to other end, the crowd still cheering.

In Multan we have a quick lunchbreak. Then we continue our way to Lahore trying to reach it before dark. To our surprise we are driving on a highway. The road is excellent with here and there only a short bit of single lane due to construction or repair efforts. What we don’t like is the fact that the diversions into single lanes are not well signposted. At one stage the road changes into separate roads again and we didn’t see it. We only notice it when we see a truck on the other road going our way as well. Then we realise we are driving against traffic which was luckily not very heavy. Pulling back on a highway isn’t fun, believe us!! Although we always recommend not to drive at night we don’t make it in time to Lahore. So the last bit we are driving in the dark and we needed all our concentration to avoid: donkeys, camels, families and lot of other things that just don’t belong on a highway. But as Elles said, it’s normal here??!!