Today we have to stay in Quetta as we had been told that we needed to obtain a travel permit from the local government office before we could move on.
This was to be a lesson in patience as we were about to find out. our German friends, Steve and i climbed into a Tuk Tuk and were off to the government office flanked by armed guards on motorbikes which certainly was a fun site.
We then proceeded to spend the next 4hrs being taken from one office to another with very little happening. WE were observing our bit of paper just sit on a desk for an extended period while the person who was required to sign the document tried to look very busy by shifting various other bits of paper around without there being much actually occurring. The final “kicker” was that when we complained, the document was simply signed off back by the original person!
So we had our signed travel document and next stop was to get the German’s a train ticket which also involved a rather convoluted process including having to produce passports.
During our stay at the hotel in Quetta we met a Spanish guy traveling solo who had just come from a trip around the “stan’s”. Fortunately he had a complete set of soft copy maps that we were able to upload onto our Garmin GPS device for India, Nepal and Myanmar. This was a result as the maps we had unfortunately had failed earlier in the rip so we were resorting to hard copy maps and the trusty Google maps on our phones.
So tomorrow we are set to move on and hopefully we will only have an escort for the first 200km from town and then we will be free to head to Lahore by ourselves. The German’s will also be able to travel by train once more.