Quetta Bloom Hotel to Sukkur Decent Inn. Optomistic name!
OK, no apologies, I’m just to tired to write up today. All in all a long very hot day, with mostly a south easterly course with wide open desert plans interspersed with yellow hued rocky valleys that allowed us to open the bikes and enjoy the sweeping bends. We had to reign ourselves in as around any bend there was more than likely to be some truck on our side of the road heading towards us. You just have to on your game 100% of the time.
My eyes are closing as I’m typing.
We left Quetta early this morning as the sun was coming up; the city bathed in a romantic charm, which had been sorely absent when we’d first arrived.
Twenty minutes out and our escorts were waiving us over to the side of the road, clearly we were to wait…for something or somebody. Across to our right a familiar looking bio-fuelled bus was parked up. It was Andy’s bus, the Brit lad we’d met up with in the lay-by in Iran. It was becoming clear that our small group was about to transform into a convoy. The four of us were all thinking the same thing…”shit, if we have to ride with Andy, it’s going to be a long slow and smelly ride”. It was another 30 minutes until Andy came strolling casually along the road, his pace suggesting he had no clue as to the urgency we all felt to press on and make some mileage.
“Where have you been?” I shouted with a semi forced smile, in place of a hello. “Oh hi there, I was just eating breakfast” Andy replied. Another 30 minutes went by before Andy had stopped farkling around and actually managed to turn the key in the ignition of the bus. The bus belched to life sending a plume of cooking fat fuelled smoke into the still air.
By mid-day Lisa, Alex, Nico and I were all getting frustrated by our complete lack of progress, waiting consistently for Andy. It came to a head when our escorts pulled us over to side of the road for the umpteenth time today and where we then simply waited for an hour and a half. Andy was nowhere to be seen. Had had broken down? Had he become ill? Was Andy in some kind of diffilculty? Nope. When he finally rolled up and was quizzed by Alex it turns out that he’s simple pulled up in front of a small café that had taken his fancy and enjoyed a pleasant bight to eat with a pot of black tea.
For the four of us, that was it! Andy had been told countless times by the escorts that he had to stay with in the convoy, that our military friends had strict orders to keep us together as a group, we only move as a group…period.
When we put this argument to Andy his simply laughed and commented, “Oh, don’t wait for me, I’m fine, just go on ahead and we’ll meet up”.
I shook my head in disbelief. Had he not heard anything he been told by the military or was it that he just didn’t understand that our escorts were not permitting us to split up. If one of us stops we all stop! Jesus, it’s not a hard concept to grasp!
After some tough negotiating we finally convinced our escorts to place a single armed soldier in the bus with Andy. It seemed perfect, he’s driving a bus, and he’s got a ton of space…it’s a bus!
By late afternoon we’d ridden some beautiful country side and by nightfall were pulling into the optimistically named ‘Decent Inn. The large white washed rooms were brighter than we’d expected and the vey curry and steaming rice were a tasty way to round off what had been another long day.
Mean as this sounds, we’re all hoping like crazy that Andy doesn’t turn up in the small hours, only to have to repeat the frustrations of this morning.
244.3 miles ridden.