After being woken up a few times with Nico snoring (sorry Alex I know I blamed you!) we left fairly late but it was nice to have a more gentle morning and very nice not to have any escort demanding our departure. We made our way out of town and then tried to find the entry onto the M2. We were eventually given directions by the police but still had to get onto it in a very off-road fashion as we could not find a proper entrance from where we had ended up!
After 20 km or so we were flagged down by the police. We then found out from a rather bolshie police man that motorbikes were not allowed to use the motorways. None of us had ever heard this.
We tried to convince him that we were not the normal motorbike‘s that he is used to here in Pakistan…but to no avail. We were sure that he didn’t believe us when we told him that we were faster than most of the cars currently using the motorway,,,and so to prove a point (as childish as it seems) when he went to escort us off the motorway – insisting that we remain on the hard shoulder…(where its all gritty and loose with glass etc?) we accelerated into the inside lane and left him standing …? nice one!
We were then left to fight our way through the traffic of the Grand Trunk road……where for most of the time aggressive car drivers tried to run us off the road despite the fact that we were usually overtaking with had nowhere to pull into. They’d still be only cm’s from our back wheels. If anything had caused us to break or swerve many would have hit us hard and probably run straight over us in the meantime.
We had given way quite a few times to one guy who was driving this way for around 20 kms. We would pull in when we could, let him go by and then around 1km later he would slow down and repeat the whole game of him driving 1cm from our tail. Nico bared the brunt of this guys stupid and dangerous driving…until it became my turn….twice I let him go by, I’d pull into incredibly small spaces between the vehicles on the inside lane just to let this ‘twit’ go by….on the 3rd time I became angry. This guy was quite literally trying to kill me driving at 70 mph 1cm away from my rear tyre whilst I had nowhere to go…….that was it! Even when I could pull in I didn’t…..Nico then joined in and Simon was now alongside the car driver. In a very smooth if somewhat reckless move Simon forced the car off the road and made him stop. Simon was angry – this guy was an incredibly dangerous driver having almost run quite deliberately into the back of both me and Nico. The guy then got out of the car and in good English said…”do you have a problem?”…to which Simon replied…”no – but you do”……what a great reply…the kind of one that you always hope you will have in these kind of situations!
After the guy went to shove at Simon (never a good move!) things got a little heated with both me and Nico joining in trying to inform this guy just how dangerous he had been (now as you probably realize this is all quietly understated..you can well imagine that feelings were running high and we all had the biggest temptation to smack this guy…but that would have put us in an even worse position…so we all refrained!).
After causing a huge traffic jam – everyone had stopped wanting to see what was going on – a few of the other drivers said..the driver apologizes (don’t think he did, I think he just got a bit scared…good!) we got back on the bikes all with the feeling that more should have been done and that this arss-hole was totally oblivious of the danger he had just put two of us in. Most of these guys just have no idea as to the size and power of our bikes.
We arrived after a bit of a stressful ride (more 1cm driving going on) and me even more pissed off – found the camping area…but once again it was dark. I am really quite fed up of arriving in the dark. The delays today had been caused by not being able to first locate the M2 – then getting on it and told to get off – then having to use the GT road – the road incident etc etc….it all adds up and the sun sets quite early at the moment at around 5:15pm. Then the temperature drops fast too. So, arriving at the campsite we are met with the security guy (?) saying to us. “shower cold – shower cold”…and then a few seconds later the same phrase. No hello’s, no greetings, no questions of any type, just …”shower cold” We initially all thought that he was a little simple….but as it turns out he really is the head of security!
As we entered the camping area we saw the shapes of around 9 or 10 silhouetted men staring at us…a bit off putting. In the dark we could make out their tents – were they permanent refuges here?? The LP book had said this was a secure camping area for foreigners…?
After checking out the toilets we found the usual ‘you can use the loo but keep your eyes and noses closed whilst you do it’ scenario. There’s no way I’d want to take a shower here anyway even if the water was hot…I would be too afraid of catching some terrible disease!
After setting up the tents and me cooking for everyone we began to really feel the cold and all climbed into our respective tents. We hope that the site looks better in the daylight.