January 11, 2009 GMT
No.17. Pakistan. Crossing the Baluchistan Desert

At last, the story resumes....at the Iran-Pakistan border.

Pakistan. PAKISTAN! How many people can say they’ve ridden a motorcycle overland to Pakistan?! I was e-lated!…and then, very nearly e-longated. Pakistan’s traffic drives on the left. I was riding on the right. One learns quickly.

My route was to take me across Baluchistan to the 'wild frontier town' of Quetta near the Afghan border then on south.

Three days later my world would to be turned upside-down on the wind swept desert road south to Sukkur - “…not recommended if you are traveling independently.”

HU.Cartoon-17a.jpg
Click here to see the full story


Click on MORE below for the highs - and lows of this stretch of Dusty Highway...

I’d left Bam at sunrise fearful of the 600kms that lay between myself and Quetta. Crossing the border at Mijave I’d made it as far as Notkundi before I was ‘encouraged’ off the road into a police compound – for safety reasons. This stretch of road was not the place for that romantic night out under the stars. There's bandits in them there hills.

The men who'd kindly fed me (after sunset) the previous evening, had gone. I packed and rolled out onto the road and turned East, once again heading for Quetta. I arrived in 'Crazy hour', that time shortly before sunset, and the town was chaotic - doubly so after the (near) isolation of the desert road. The Lonely Planet lead me to the Hotel Bloom Star - an oasis of calm.

Later that evening I returned to the Hotel having eaten in a nearby restaurant ( I use the term loosely). Four or five locals were engaging the owner in an animated conversation. They fell silent as I walked in. " And now a cartoon?!" suggested the young man at Reception. I'd told him earlier of my skills as a Caricaturist. Looking round at the assembled 'party' - I regretted it. To cut a long story short - I survived to tell the tale...(Flick back to 'Episode 6a -Pakistan' for the full nerve wracking story).

Gearbox oil topped up and I was away at 8.00am on the road south to Sukkur over the legendary Bolan Pass. The British army had built a railway through this dramatic region in the 1800s, steep gradients and 20 tunnels - each one named. The project had cost them dearly...

.................................................

The sun beat down on the road south. The tarmac shimmered, deserted. Quiet. Quiet that is, except for a nagging rumble coming through my footpegs. I'd felt it in third gear over the previous days but now I was picking it up in all gears...and now louder ...and LOUDER. I stopped. Checked oil. OK. Started the engine, engaged first gear...kkkeeEERRRUUNCHH!!! What the F*ck? Gearbox? Shaftdrive failure? This is it. It's all over. I slumped to the ground and lit a cigarette. It should have been a Hamlet cigar......

Is this it? The end of the road for our Gritty Biker? Find out in the next 'gripping' episode - coming soon...!!!


Posted by Simon Roberts at January 11, 2009 08:03 PM GMT
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!



Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!