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I'd not seen any posts recently so maybe this has been standing news for some time: from South and West of Bam and heading East you are obliged to have a police escort.
I came up from Bander-e-Abbas towards Bam through the countryside rather than up the main road to Kerman. Shortly before Rudan (about 50km from Bander) I was stopped at a checkpoint and then had a further eight hours of police escorts into Bam (about 350km). This went on four hours after sunset.
Bam itself requires police escorts to go anywhere -- I was told this has been true since the Japanese guy was kidnapped in 2007. They're not that quick at turning up, either.
I understand I'll be getting a police escort to Zahedan tomorrow and (obviously?) over the border into Pakistan and up to Quetta (and beyond given the current situation).
The escorts aren't so much of a problem: I was pretty honest about my speed with the first but then got bored and they were quite happy to try to keep up (until my reputation preceded me and I was told to slow down and follow).
The real problem is that each escort only takes you between 5 and 50 km before they stop you at the side of the road and organize the next one -- usually a good half hour waitiing.
They were very keen on me going inside police compounds at each stop with, I suspect, the hope that I would stay the night and save them the bother of finding the next escort.
So, if you're headed this way, look at maybe 40-50kph as an average speed.
I had about eight police escorts towards Zahedan before the final one handed me back my passport and let me go unescorted the remaining 70km into Zahedan. 6-7hrs for 330km.
Zahedan to the border was painfully slow. The majority of time (2.5hrs) was spent waiting for an escort to appear at the police checkpoint outside Zahedan. He jumped out of a private taxi. No weapon, no socks. Armed only with a squeaky voice and my passport he commandeered a coach and told me to ride in front. Halfway to the border he had to register at a checkpoint and then commandeered a truck to get most of the rest of the way. Another 20min wait for a different guy without a weapon to escort me through to the border (having flagged down a taxi).
Conclusion: if it's actually dangerous they're not making much attempt to protect you.
hmm... might be cycling that way soon. I wonder what the deal is with bicycles ?
The deal is with foreigners, not with vehicles. In Iran it won't be so much of a problem as there's money for police vehicles. In PK it'd be a lot more interesting as the police don't have any money (for diesel) or for vehicles (or wheels for vehicles or...). I was obliged to accept an armed pillion for much of the Taftan-Quetta run otherwise I wasn't going anywhere in a hurry -- no petrol for the police m/c either though I was asked if I wanted to cough up. Not sure what you'd do with a bicycle. Depending on your daily mileage you might spend a lot of nights at police checkpoints too.
Have to disagree, most experiences I've had a Hilux escort
Oh yes, don't get me wrong, the vast majority were pickups (and mostly Hiluxen) but my two days along the Taftan-Quetta road required four armed pillions. The first time (where their vehicle was up on bricks with no wheels and the m/c had no petrol) a guy appeared on a moped and persuaded me that unless I wanted to wait for some time then I'd better have the pillion. Three that day and the one for a very uncomfortable (for him) 115km from Dalbandin towards Quetta -- where I was sent on my way for 50km to Nushki (an hour and then 10km hilux escort up the twisties and then sent on my way again until the Lak Pass).
Only hitchers wer on the Makran coastal highway.
It was your report and pictures of the Makran Coast that persuaded me to head down that way but all the vibes were bad and I'd had enough. To be fair, the vibes from the police were always bad. I think I was just fed up. A long way to go!
Know the chap in the picture above, lovely guy... good memories of Baluchistan
Yes, he looks familiar. I agree the Balochis seemed very friendly to me. I never felt any animosity despite being conspicuously white and western. Much like McGiggle, above, though less female!
Oi, "but less female"!!!!!!!!!!!!! that's my wife............... I'm the red blooded male taking the pix
Oh, I'm sorry, I have a cold.
The "Hilux escort" is one of the Toyota Hilux pickup trucks the police mostly have. Mostly they had a frame and canvas cover over the flatbed part with a couple of bench seats for the rather bored policemen to sit in. Apart from the RRG, on the way out of Quetta, who rather excitedly deployed themselves around whenever the vehicle came to a halt for the boss man to chat to one of his mates. Hmm, thinking about it they deployed themseves around the police truck not around me.
There was one very new Hilux with fat tyres at the north end of the N25 (Quetta-Karachi road) which went *incredibly* slowly presumably to protect the truck from being damaged too quickly on the terrible road.
The older (skinny-tyred) ones went a bit quicker (but only one ever went quickly) but they were less likely to maintain any speed on any kind of a rise.
Location: Vancouver, BC - now at large in the world
Damn... I just read this thread and this is aweful. My experience with escorts in that area (in 2006):
In Iran, none, except from Zahedan to the border.
In Pakistan, none from the border to Quetta. Tried to go via Bannu to Peshawar. Told to turn around by a gas seller and followed his advice. Got picked up in DG Khan and escorted to DI Khan, from there sans escort to Peshawar. That was the last escort I had.
I did stop at the tribal police posts, as they usually had a string or chain across the more deserted roads. Very friendly, sign the guestbook and away you go.
The military and police are more annoying. If it was one or two guys and I could see no sidearms or radio (hardly ever a vehicle), I'd just keep going.
Hope the KKH is open again .. That's the area to be, Karimabad, Marpin etc...
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