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Recommendations and Comments for other travellers

Glossop to

...and back

Crossing the Iran/Pakistan border was entirely painless. I wish the same could have been said for the Pakistani road surfaces. I suppose that if you consider that there was practically no traffic on this road, the lack of maintenance priority becomes understandable.

The heat, the sand storm (on one of the days) and the road condition, left their mark on the truck...

For those who have requested a "body shot", this is as close as you're going to get! The desert road through Balochistan to Quetta. Tracing the Afghan border.

Entering Quetta, it was rush hour. There were donkeys and carts everywhere. Carts with wooden cart wheels.

Stopping to ask somebody a direction, I noticed that there was an oil leak underneath my trailer.

I had 5 litres of decent engine oil in the trailer in preparation for an oil change. Now most of it was still in there, but not in its original container. I was so happy. My own little Amoco Cadiz.

Knowing I'd have to empty the trailer, I found a decent hotel which had its own secure car park with which I could share my oil slick. I found a little 5-star number, surrounded by plush UN Toyotas. It's hard working on a refugee assignment with the UN.

The evening was surreal. On mop-and-clean-duty, in the car park of a 5-star hotel, to the accompaniment of fighter aircraft zipping about overhead.

After Quetta, Jacobabad is the next major town south. Taking it easy on the poor roads, this was a 2 day drive.

Before this town, I'd taken advice and been reassured that sleeping in the truck was safe. One evening was spent at a roadside cafe with a judge, a magistrate and a faqih (Shari'ah law advocate) from the local town. With their rifle toting body guard, who doubled up as a tea pourer. Reassurance on this level let me sleep safely in this troubled region, even though they took their teapot specialist away with them. You soon learn however, that rifles are as common in this area as shopping bags are in Tesco.

At Jacobabad, as I arrived after dark and couldn't find anywhere unobtrusive to park, I found a hotel. Big mistake. I was found by the police...

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Weeks 10 and 11 (continued)