August 08, 2003 GMT
Islamabad via Quetta to Iran

The visa was finally ready on Tuesday for 2900 Rs. This night I celebrated at KFC with a big burger and a coke. The next destination was Dera Ghazi Khan, arrived at 18.00, found a hotel the only problem was they didn`t let foreigners stay. Nowhere in the whole town, a " security risk ", I`am not sure for whom. After some calls to the police and the security people the decision was that I couldn`t stay and had to leave town, the next place was 70 km away and it was already dark, that`s what I call a risk to drive at night. And it was not fun, none has proper light on there car or truck when at all. Then also cycles, people and all kind of animals on the road and not to forget to potholes. It was just luck that I didn`t crash into something.

The next day to Quetta a hard and hot one. The first part of the road was one detour after the other with flour like dust everywhere, then closer to Quetta things got more comfortable. After one motorbike service day in Quetta, oil + filter changed, air filter cleaned after all the dust, valves checked and so on I was on the road again the next day to the Iran border. The last couple of hundred Km in Pakistan going trough the Baluchistan Desert, a place so dry and hot I hadn`t seen something like it before. Had to cover every bit of skin because the air is so hot it really burns. When the engine was turned of there is no sound not even a bird. The handlebars got so hot that I checked a couple of times if the heating wasn`t turned on. An the area changes so quick from stony to sandy desert and with lots of small tornado's on the plains. Stayed in Taftan overnight and early next day I was at the border. No problem on the Pakistan side at the immigration you can go to the front as a foreigner, what is not really fair but saves you hours. The Iranian site also no problem, costumes took a bit longer but only because a lot of trucks crossing here the border as well.
Then finally in Iran. I didn`t fill up petrol in Pakistan because much cheaper in Iran but there was no petrol station for the first 100 Km. With the tank nearly empty I got into a small town and got petrol from the side of the road. While that was happening someone stole my sunglasses, shit had nothing stolen so far in the previous 5 month. The, don`t know what kind of petrol that was, 100Km before Bam I was on reserve again, in the desert and no town to see. But just before I started to worry, around a small mountain there was a, yes a real petrol station. You can get so exited about small things !!
Bam and the old city " Arg e Bam " are well worth visiting and sitting in the small teashop and looking over the city is excellent.
In the evening the owner of the hotel came and sad the bike wasn`t save outside and to put it into his garden, ok why not. While moving it I had to see that someone had twisted around the handlebars, had bent the numberplate and GPS holder. The hardest thing was that the horn was stolen as well and that all in about 2 hours. I was really pissed off. So next morning a new horn from some car shop and further on to Kerman. In the hotels guest book I saw that I missed Jonas ( a Swedish guy that I met first in Goa then in Rajastan ) just by 1 day. A small world.
Yazd then is a good place to walk around the bazaar and sit at night at one of the squares and watch live going on in the streets.
In Esferhan it took some time to find my hotel. In the evening sitting in one of the teashops around Meidun-e Emam Komaeini square in amazing, mosques in bright light, busy bazaars and lot`s of people around. It took only a short time and I was invited by 2 young Iranian. In there home the whole family was there to have a chat with and it was amazing to see woman with absolute normal cloth and not covert.
Later that night the 2 guys and me went to get something to eat and it must have been the place where all young people go, it was like being back at Courtney Place in Wellington. On the way home the taxi lost a wheel bearing so we had to fix that in the middle of the road.
Yes I must say I`am really surprised about Iran, on one site really modern and then so back in religion and it law's. A lot of young people are not happy with this.
Will stay another day here and then north-west to Turkey.

Posted by Andre Lomme at 12:55 PM GMT

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