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  #1  
Old 10 Nov 2008
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Iran/Pakistan Border crossing, my experience

I crossed over the border from Iran into Pakistan yesterday, so I thought I'd give you guys the low-down on how it went.

I started from Bam at 6am.
Bam to Zahedan, no problems, pristine road, no checkpoints, did see a bus being escorted by a pickup-mounted machine-gun which gave me the willies, but no worries!

Once you get to Zahedan you're met by the most irritating relay-race of escorts you'll ever want to meet.
It took me four hours to get through Zahedan and to the border (a total of about 100km!) as I was waiting half an hour each time for a policeman who escorted me about 3 feet to the next checkpoint and told me to wait there for the next guy... Repeat ad-nauseum.

Once I actually got to the border the process was relatively quick and painless.
2 hours it took from riding in and waving good-bye to my escort to driving off into the sunset in Pakistan.

The Pakistani side of the border is a stark contrast to the Iranian side, unsealed roads link the run-down customs and immigration offices together.
Taftan, the town immediately on the Pakistani side of the border has virtually nothing apart from a shop and a government hosted accomodation block (or so I'm told, I didn't actually stay there)

The road from Taftan to Quetta is in pretty shit shape.
It looks ok, but suddenly there's a huge chunk out of the road where it's been washed away, and the Pakistani way of warning you is to put a big pile of gravel in front of the offending area (not helpful at night!)

Petrol is 70Rupees a litre as far as I've seen so far, there are no official petrol stations between Taftan and Quetta (as far as I saw anyway) but there are umpteen stalls selling petrol by the roadside at any of the towns.

It took me approximately 14 hours to ride from Taftan to Quetta, going as fast as the roads would allow.
As that's only 550km or so.. that gives you a fair idea of how shit the road is.

EDIT: Oh I forgot to mention, in Pakistan I have had NO escorts so far, though I think they are available if you want them...


Hope this is of some use to somebody!
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Old 10 Nov 2008
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Thanks alot, it was really good to get some up to date info. I will be passing throught next year. I know it will proably change, but still great to know how its is at the mo.

George
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Old 10 Nov 2008
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Hopefully it will change for the better, once Obama takes over. I'm not into politics, but it seems pretty much every muslim country hates Bush. We'll see!! I'm planning on going that way next year to.
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Old 10 Nov 2008
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You're lucky you didn't have to get the escorts from Bam to Zahedan (400km), I was going the other way- I had to ride in the dark for about 4 hours, something made all the more unpleasant beacause nearly everyone in Iran drives with their lights on full beam at night...

On the Pak side, I only had (proper 30mph) escorts from Dera Ghazi Khan to Kingri, nothing from there all the way till I got to the Iran border. The road to Quetta is actually not too bad, relatively speaking, ie comparing it to some other places I've riden though it is pretty heavily eroded at the road edge resulting in some pretty impressive drops.

Very little traffic on it too.





You can also 'free camp' at the really friendly Pakistani customs office in the town about 130kms from the border if you need to break the journey;

Image of Well, it was 'free' accommodation - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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Old 11 Nov 2008
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We've done it now about a week ago. They picked us up at the hotel in Bam. Before we've left BAm the escort allready changed 4 times. And then again to Zahedan the same thing. Was not so bad after all. Actually almost never allowed us to stop. The first policecar was stopping while the one that took over was taking off. Some parts they 'lost' us and they did not seem to mind. It went so fast that we decided not to stop in Zahedan but cross the border the same day. Arriving in Taftan at sunset we did not wanted to drive at night so slept in the 'hotel' next to the customs office (could not find an other). That was bad!!!! Taftan - Quetta, about the same experiences as Toukakoukan. Although we've had some escorts once in a while.
We found the road from Quetta to Multan much worse. It's about 600km from which there is a part 65 km unpaved (among more). Then as we saw that we would not going to make it before sunset and wanted to stay at Dera Ghazi Khan the police told us that we were not allowed to. At a certain point after that they gave us an police escort, which was oke considering it made driving in the dark much easier. In Multan we wanted to leave without an escort, but they stood waiting for us outside the hotel. So we've had an escort for a great part of the way from Multan to Lahore again. Although we rather rode without it, it did had it advantages and the policeofficers were very friendly.
Hope this is of some use.
Regards,
Marcel

Ps heading to Amritsar tomorrow (nov 11th), anybody around here somewhere?
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Old 11 Nov 2008
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There is no place to stay/camp/rest for the night between Quetta and Taftan???
Its almost 600kms and we have never done that before in one session.
The max we have done in one day is 350kms.
Little concerned about this, we are planning to do it April 2009, India to Iran direction.

Are the escorts changing over because of change of juristriction or because they need a rest?
Is it feasable to head out of Quetta with or without an escort at say 5am?

Jeez Im dreading the butt pain already...
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Old 12 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by AussieNat View Post
There is no place to stay/camp/rest for the night between Quetta and Taftan???
Its almost 600kms and we have never done that before in one session.
The max we have done in one day is 350kms.
Little concerned about this, we are planning to do it April 2009, India to Iran direction.

Are the escorts changing over because of change of juristriction or because they need a rest?
Is it feasable to head out of Quetta with or without an escort at say 5am?

Jeez Im dreading the butt pain already...
There are a few towns with places to stay, I've had Daibandin reccomended to me but it was a fair whack from the border so I kipped at a (ridiculously expensive, well.. 500 rupees :P) place in Nokundi.
Camping is probably not advisable as the for the most part the place is flat as a pancake, and you'd be hard pressed to conceal yourself from the road.

The escorts I took were changing over presumably because of jurisdictional issues as I can't imagine they needed a rest after 1km...

It's not that much of a pain in the butt really.
And I wouldn't recommend doing taftan to quetta in one day... you'd be hard pressed to do it all in daylight I think, even if you set off from taftan at sun-up...
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Old 12 Nov 2008
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Places to stay

Hi

We rode he Taften border to Dalbandin and then camped in the police station - just ask when you arrive in town.

As far as the rest goes, we camped in the Ziarat valley enroute to Lorarli behind a goverment hostel with no problems, the next night we camped rough by the side of the road near a petrol station and the third night just before reaching DG Khan we rode into a military barracks and they gave us rooms and meals free - turns out the commanding officer was at Sandhurst for a short period of time!

Hope this helps

Becky
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  #9  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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[quote=AussieNat;214893]There is no place to stay/camp/rest for the night between Quetta and Taftan??? QUOTE]


See my comment below:

You can also 'free camp' at the really friendly Pakistani customs office in the town about 130kms from the border if you need to break the journey;


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Last edited by MikeS; 4 Feb 2009 at 21:59.
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  #10  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by AussieNat View Post
There is no place to stay/camp/rest for the night between Quetta and Taftan???
Half on the way to Quetta is the only so called town, Dalbadin.
There is a cheap hotel (think its called Alleman), right-handed, after you entered the town.

PS: when you go there, say hi to the the guy, who manages the hotel.
he was servicing me like a mother, when i had a break-down there
because of heavy diarrhea
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  #11  
Old 29 Jan 2009
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We drove almost the same route: http://www.lifeisjoy.nl/GoingEast.php
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Last edited by jopos; 27 Sep 2012 at 08:33.
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  #12  
Old 26 Sep 2012
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South africa to Pakistan

I am planning trip from south Africa to Pakistan. need guidance please
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Old 27 Sep 2012
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I am planning trip from south Africa to Pakistan. need guidance please
Perhaps the stories and movies on our website can be helpful:
Life Is Joy - NL-Nepal
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Old 28 Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by warrior View Post
I am planning trip from south Africa to Pakistan. need guidance please
Feel free to ask for any information or guidance about Pakistan.
Have a nice trip.

Cheers
Omar
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  #15  
Old 1 Dec 2013
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Crossing Taftan to Quetta - 11/2013 updates

I crossed over the border from Iran into Pakistan in the beginning of november 2013! So, let me give you an update about the situation around there!

We (3 bikers) decided to sleep in Kerman and follow to the Zahedan in the next day. Hitting the road at 7am we arrived in Bam at 9:45. From Bam we got escorts, the most irritating escorts you can imagine, we spent almost a day to ride 323kms to Zahedan, the number of times they change escorts is mind-bogging, sometimes every 500m, and than, you have to wait out of the police station or check point for 5, 10, 30, 120 minutes for the next escorts to pick you up, of course, under a blistering sun, no water, no shade, to really test your nerves. Most of them are young recruits, they laugh about you, they take a piss on you, of course, in them language, there is no respect at all. You feel like you are clown. They will hold your passport until you get the border with Pakistan. The escorts are there to protect you but you fell like you are a prisoner, you can't go anywhere without your passport.

When we arrived in Zahedan was night already, they toke us to a police station to wait for the next escorts to take us to the hotel, they said that the place was too dangerous to let us to go by ourselves, but they left us 2 hours outside of one police station, doors shut, with only the moon to give us some light, again, no water, no nothing, zero safety. Funny that in side the police station they had two cars, plenty staff and guns but nobody could take us to the hotel which was 2 km away.

After 2 hours, some escorts arrived and toke us to the hotel that we choose, the Esteghlal Grand Hotel, which by Lonely Planet was the best place. Hotel is fine for Iranian standards, food is not good and quite expensive for Iran. We couldn't leave the hotel, even to go to the shop which was wall to wall with the hotel, was too dangerous they said.. Brrrrrrrr.....

Next day we set off very early, we asked the police to be ready at 7am to take us to the border, Taftan, 100km away. Again, almost one whole day just to do that, good roads, absolutely amazing desert landscape, but uncountable check points, more teen recruits, more waiting on check points under a blistering sun, no water, no shade. yes, is tough. Plus, again, escorts that laugh about you, that disrespect you with them attitudes.

The border processing was okay, as usual, your passport will be checked more than 20 times, some people can't even read it properly, you have to point where is your name, where is the number, everything, is just ridiculous.
The Iranian border is a big building, but very dusty, disorganized and quite empty.

About the petrol, fill up you tank before crossing the border, tell every single escort that you need petrol because they don't pass any request you ask to the next escort, you have to keep repeating and remembering. If you want to take a jerry can with extra petrol, get a small one, if they see a big one, they will not let you take it with you, sure, to make you buy petrol in the Pakistani side with the smugglers for 140 rupees per liter. Bastards.

We crossed the border, the Pakistan customs/police station/aduana is not a building, is just couple of houses in the middle of a small-dusty-desert town. Nice chaps, friendly and helpful. They said was too late already to hit the road to Dalbandin, so, we had to sleep at the police station, there, they gave us a empty room with a small kitchen on the back where we cooked our dinner! LOL

Because the room was empty, we set our camping gear and had a good sleep. Forget shower. The toilet available is a hole on the floor and stinks like hell, get a mask to go in there.

There is a small shop nearby where you can go, get some drinks, biscuits, and some unusual things for such poor place. Honestly, Pakistan government should do something about that border, is just a shame that a country like Pakistan has a border is such precarious condition. Anyway, next morning we left very early to Dalbandin, which is half way to Quetta, 300km away from Taftan.
From Taftan to Quetta, there is no petrol stations selling petrol, just Diesel! If you need petrol, you have to buy along the way with smugglers for 140 pakistani rupees/liter (escorts commission included), you must haggle with the smugglers , you might get it for 130!

__________________________________________________ _________
PS: Bring dollars with you, you get better rates with dollar than with Pounds or Euros. Exchange some dollars right after crossing the border, the rate is not so great, but honestly, due the circumstances, is fair, buy pakistani rupees enough to buy petrol, water and biscuits until Quetta. DO NOT rely on dollars only, get local currency!!!!
Road between Taftan and Quetta is very mixed, very good, good, bad and terrible parts, be ready for every kind of terrain you can expect. make sure your bike is in good condition, suspension mostly.
__________________________________________________ _________

Because we left the border very early, we reached Dalbandin about midday, so, time to top up our petrol tanks, get some juice, water, share some delicious food that the guys in the check point were eating and done, head to Quetta!
Would be great if we could make Taftan to Quetta in one day! But was beginning of november, the days wasn't long anymore, so, at 5:30pm, just about 45km before Quetta, in Nushki, we were asked to sleep in the check point, travelers are not allowed to drive before sunrise or after sunset.
Well, the sleep at the check point wasn't so bad, they provided a empty room to sort out ourselves and asked to move the bikes in, we had time to have a quick shower, eat something and take some pictures with the guards (really nice blokes) before completely darkness, than, they asked us to stay inside the room and to not leave, and keep the lights down.
Next day, early morning again, we reached Quetta! 45 kilomters far, crossing amazing mountains, was okay!
By the way, he Pakistani police did a great job, completely different from the Iranian ones, great logistic, most of the time you don't have to wait for the next escort to come, they are always already waiting for you, no pissing about, no laughs, very professional and efficient.

The crossing is not easy, is dangerous, yes it is, I believe that, as long as you are not involved with politics, you are safe. There is no history of someone crossing with a car or a motorbike that had been kidnapped or rubbed, usually, tourist are not the target, but IT IS TENSE. You will find yourself in the middle of nowhere, mountains in your right, desert in you left, in front, the toyota hilux with two guys on the back holding Ak-47's (fingers on the trigger, eyes on the desert), and nothing behind you, not a single soul (that you can see) in a range of 100km around your.

The adventure is unforgettable.
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Last edited by joasphoto; 3 Dec 2013 at 11:48.
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