Pakistan

Hostage: On water and bread.
The first kilometers in Pakistan we see many "petrol stations". Men and boys sell illegal smuggled petrol from Iran.
Ofcourse we stop and buy the cheap petrol and have a chat with the men.

Illegal petrol smuggled from Iran

Hot, it is very today. We take a break at a roadside restaurant and have a drink, The 1.5 l cola bottle is empty in 5 minutes...
We only take a short break because we want to cross this desolate desert in 2 days. We are in western
Pakistan, in Baluchistan. This desert province is poorly developed and according to our guidebook
the tribal people here have their own laws and in the past travelers were kidnapped. But the route Taftan
(border Iran) to Quetta (600 km) is open and safe...

roadside restaurant; other travellers and the amazing Pakistani trucks 

We put on our motor jacket, helmet and gloves. Even before starting the bike we are soaking in our sweat. If we ride away we feel the sweat evaporating and
this gives a real cool feeling. Only for some minutes. Then we feel the hot desert air again. Like we are riding in an oven...
A few kilometers later we met some other travelers. A group of 3 english guys that are on the way from India to England on Royal Enfields. Cool!
When we have a chat a fully decorated truck pass us. These trucks look great, but the drivers ride like crazy... 
At night, when we pitch our tent just aside the road. After some cups of tea we look at our thermometer
and it is still 38 degrees centigrade. That means during the day the temperature will rise till 50...pfff.
On our route we see some camels crossing the road and ask ourselves where they will find water because all the rivers are
dry. Well, some did not find water...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At a crossing we are forced to stop by a lot of people. One man shout at us that we are not allowed to go further because yesterday a man was shot by the police. "He wanted water to irrigate his land. There is a draught for 3 years and the Pakistan government do nothing about it. So we (this tribe) block all the traffic until the government comes with a solution. Even if it take weeks..."
Calmly we park our bikes and Harald goes with that leader to a little house to talk, to negociate. Udo stays with the bikes to guard them. The men are real close around the bikes and they all have a mean look in their eyes. Like if Udo is the problem. They wear the shalwar kameez, wide trousers with a long shirt and tulbands on their
heads. They just look like Ali Baba and his 40 robbers...The men come closer around the bikes. Udo feels threatend and is afraid that the situation is going out of control. The sun is burning and sweat drops from his head. Udo pulls off a bottle of cola from the luggage and drink the hot coke. It taste terrible. Some of the Ali Baba's get bored and start to play with the throttle or try to open the luggage. This is going the wrong way... Udo tries to stay friendly and tell them not to do so. Udo starts to count how many of them he could take, 2, 3, but not all 40... And is it due to the hot sun thats burns on my head that make me imagine I see big knives and kalashnikov's under their shalwar kameez... CRAP!

Then suddenly there is a lot of shouting and men are running to a bus. The bus wanted to drive away but the men are hammering with their fists and sticks on the bus till the driver stops. Udo realizes that we can go nowhere. We are taken hostage. After some hours Harald comes back, tired, and tell that they are waiting for the police from Quetta. Then they will talk about a solution. We have no idea how long it will take. We wait at our bikes and try to keep the men away. Every time they push some buttons on our steer or are turning the throttle. We are getting desperate...
Finally, when it starts to get dark, the police arrives. Harald goes back to the house where the leader is. After one hour he comes back and tell that there is no solution. But he arranged that we can have some food and a place to sleep. Harald managed to get the police escort us (again!) to a little restaurant. But when we start our bikes all the men run to us and start to shout and wave with sticks. We cannot go. Then the leader comes and explains that we are allowed to go. One policeman get on the back at Udo's bike and start to push away the Ali Baba's with his stick. We ride through the crowd along the road block of rocks and burning car tyres. A few
kilometers further in a little village we stop at a restaurant. The policeman order some food for us. After a few minutes we get dry bread and mineral water. Like in prison...Then we are escorted to a hotel and we can park the bikes safe in the backyard. The friendly hotel servent brings us some tea and mango's. How long will this take? After a sleepless night the servent tell us that the road block is finished and that we can go. Still a bit nervous we ride up to the crossing. Only some rocks and smoking tyres remind us of the incident. We open our throttles wide and ride to freedom.

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