|We left Fort Munro quite early, the first one hundred kilometres were quite hard and slow though better than the previous two days, and we finally made it to D G Kahn. We had decided to try and cover five hundred kilometres and stop for the night in Khushab, by three o clock we had only 125 kms to go and we were thinking that we would manage it ok, then the road turned to gravel and dirt for a few kms, once we were through this we rode into a sandstorm and had to cope with soft sand that had been blown across the road, we finally found a dump of a hotel in Khushab at about 7.30pm, after getting them to clean the rooms we showered (cold water only) and ordered some food, Then the Police arrived, we were all in a pretty bad mood and were all tired so an arkward police chief and his underlings was not what we needed but he insisted on seeing our passports he wanted to know where we had come from and where we were going, It took some time to convince him that we had come from Fort Munro that morning, the tempreture was now starting to rise ! , then the Policeman decided that he was going to leave the hotel with our passports, the tempreture was now at boiling point as Cliff blocked the coppers path and then as he tried to step around him Cliff got hold of him and stepped him back a couple of paces and insisted that there was no way that he was going to leave with our passports, thankfully a compromise was reached and we all left with our passport in the Police pick-up to go and get photocopies from a bookshop.|
|The road from Fort Munro to D G Kahn|
|Belive it or not this is not a sandstorm, this is pretty normal dusty conditions, we hit the sand storm about three hours later|
|The next morning as we were having breakfast the 'secret' Police arrived and wanted to know where we were going and what was our route ! . We were all glad to get away from Khashab, unfortunatley as we were riding through the traffic Adrian hit his pannier on the light guard of a Toyota van and fell off . Once Adrian had finished doing his impression of a Beetle stuck on its back we picked up the bike and looked at his bent pannier, we decided to get out of town and then see what could be done with it as a crowd was already surrounding us and the horns were blowing. Once out of town we stopped to assess the damage, having decided that a road side fix was not an option we strapped it on to his passanger seat and went on our merry way.
We had done about 100kms when we reached the new three lane highway, Maarten and Adrian went straight through the toll booth but Jenny and the rest of us had to stop as the man was standing in the road, he then told us that no motorcucles were allowed , after a couple of minites of this Bullshit I said to Jenny to put the bike in gear and go 30 seconds later she replyed that she was in gear but that the bloody thing won't go. Perfect timing, there we are all arguing with the toll booth man, telling him that it was no bloody wonder that Pakistan was a third world country and now we need to be nice to him and we will still not get onto there bloody motorway! .
|Cliff fixing the bike with an audience|
|The problem turned out to be the front sprocket had come off of the shaft, but this time luck was on our side as the retaining nut had stuck between the frame and the engine casing. In the meantime the Police had arrived on two motorcycles and in a Toyota, so we discussed the merits of their stupid regulations that allow a policeman to ride a motorcycle on the motorway but not us, suggestions were made, some polite but most were not, but we did not get ant nearer to using Pakistan's only good road so we turned around and went on our way to Islamabad via the normal crap road.|
|Eating at the roadside in Islamabad, the best food in Pakistan|
|When we left Khushab we had intended to make it onto the Karakoram Highway but it had been yet another bad days travelling in Pakistan so we decided to stop in Islamabad, we found a decent hotel and settled in we decided that we all needed a bit of a rest and some repairs ans maintenance was needed for the bikes.
Islamabad, think of Milton keynes and then add Asian chaos and then you will know all about Islamabad. In Islamabad our little group was to split up as Sean and Adrian were on a shorter schedule than the rest of us so they wanted to get from Islamabad to Gilget in one day, this we did not think they would achieve as 650 kms in one day in Pakistan is very difficult, especially on the Karakoram highway. Maarten and Cliff agreed on a route to Murree, Cliff wanted to go to Abbotabad and then up the Karakoram but Maarten wanted to go up to Muzaffarabad and then join the Karakoram at Mansehra. It sounded like a good idea at the time as there was a red Fort on this route that might be interesting, so Maarten , Andreas and ourselves would stay together for a few more days as we headed up the Karakoram Highway.