We bid farewell to the German’s and hoped to catch ip with them again once we reach Lahore. Steve and I were looking forward to the ride today as we would believed we would be free to travel without an escort shortly.
Quetta was a tip of a city and we were very pleased to be leaving. Our police escorts assisted in cutting an easy path through any traffic on the route out of town. There was nothing unusual about our jorney that morning, Steve and I had discussed the route the previous night with the guards so there was nothing to worry about, just follow the armed police vehicle.
The first thing that started to concern us was that the escort did not stop at the 200km mark, we also later that morning realised we were not being taken on route we had discussed the night before which should have been around 400km’s straight through to Lahore. It turned out the police on the day decided (without telling us) the direct route was too dangerous so we were taken on a much longer (nearly 1000km) route heading south east and then we were to head back up.
We were finally cut loose by our guards after nearly 400km’s, but by this stage we had to completely re map our journey through to Lahore. It was now going to take 2 days to get there and it was later in the day and we had no accommodation arranged for the evening.
We had a chat and decided to push on and make out way through to what we believed to be a reasonable sized town and get accommodation there.
The day turned into evening and we were then stopped by police who made us wait until an armed escort could once again take us on our journey. We waited for approx 1hr until police arrived, we were wet with sweat and the pollution was disgusting.
The police officer in charge then offered to have us escorted the 150km to a “safe” hotel as the area we were in was not considered safe for westerners. So once again we were off, by now it was 7;30pm.
As the journey progressed unaware to us, the original instruction given by the organising police officer got confused, with Steve and I finding ourselves with police who tried to “dump” us at the road side at 10;30pm saying we were free to go with us not knowing where we were. The day had quickly turned hell and now getting dangerous.
The conversation quickly changed at this point with me having a very frank conversation with the police at the road side. The police then made several phone calls and found a hotel for us, but it still involved another 45 minute journey. We were off again.
Finally we made it to a hotel in a town call Badawalpur at 11:30pm. We had been on the road 16hrs and covered 780km’s. We had not had breakfast, lunch or dinner due to the escorts not wanting to stop. We were shattered!
As it turned out, the hotel was the best accommodation we had experienced since being on our Mad Ride. There is a god.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.