Wakey, Wakey!

Wakey, Wakey!

The plan was to leave Quetta early and take route 65 to Sukkur. I had been told it’s a good road and not at all like the Robbers Road. I awoke at 4:50am to the sound of explosions from incoming mortars, or possibly some sort of rockets. They were landing quite close as the whole hotel vibrated and it was only a two storey building. The mortars were followed by the clatter of small arms fire. I got dressed and went down to the lobby and out into the grounds. The security guards, who are all armed with either AK47’s or pump action shot guns, were milling around the extensive garden and car park area. I went back in the lobby and spoke to the duty receptionist, asking if it he could find out from the police if it was still safe for me to travel. It transpired that “they’re not answering the phone because it’s Sunday!” I suggested they weren’t answering...
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So Into Pakistan

So Into Pakistan

The drive from Bam to the Iran/Pakistan border was a severe test for Bridget. The weather was like the hottest summers day in the UK plus a hot wind, similar to standing behind a plane’s jet engine, and, just to make it interesting, there was a dust storm as well. The dust is very fine and gets into everything reducing visibility to under half a mile. It was like this for almost the whole of the 200 miles journey which included traversing a mountain range. At least at the top of the mountains the dust was far less. There was only one service station shown on the map and unfortunately when I arrived at the site it was all boarded up and deserted, so once again I had to use the jerry cans. Anyway we arrived safely and I took Bridget into a car wash to spruce her up. The guys that operate these washes just go mad over the car and...
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More Days in Iran

More Days in Iran

I ended my last report from Astara on the coast of the Caspian Sea. From there I ventured along the coast road to Rasht and then down to Tehran. Again I attracted the attention of the local plod, this time in the guise of motorway police. They pulled me over just for a good look at the car and couldn’t even guide me to a good hotel. After driving around the major routes of Tehran for about an hour I stopped to study the map and try to figure out whereabouts I was in relation to the city. Suddenly there was a whoop of joy and two lads on a motorcycle stopped alongside me. We chatted for several minutes and I asked them if they could give me directions. They said that they could do better than that and told me to follow them. After about 15 minutes of weaving through Tehran traffic, and that’s a feat not to be under-rated,...
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5 Days in Iran

5 Days in Iran

Monday 21st July and my last day in Turkey. I decided that after having worked out in the gym at Erzurum (first time for over seven weeks) and found my fitness level wanting, that I would walk from the hotel to Ishak Pasha Sarayi some 6 miles distant. The palace was built in the 17th century and is only 15 kms from Mount Ararat. History records that the Pasha (a local ruler) was so pleased with the design of the palace that he had the architect’s hands chopped off so that he couldn’t design a better one for anyone else. A little drastic you might think but I was wondering if we could do something similar in the UK but with estate agents! Anyway, it was a wonderful day out and I met-up with three guys from the Turkish army. They were really friendly and took many photo’s as well as buying me lunch. At the end of the day they...
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