LOG ENTRY 20
We have been stranded at Wagga border for five days and it is coming down to the point when someone will have to fly back to Europe to get the Carnet. 
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The gate of the Wagga border crossing from the Indian side, where we so want to be
As we are waiting for the papers from the Hungarian embassy in Delhi we have really nothing to do. At this point it is all about waiting. It turned out that the embassy will send the letter directly to the Indian side of the border, address it to the head officer there to make things easier. The only problem is the communication. We have no internet connection nor reception on the phone in the hotel. We found a place about 10 min walk towards Lahore when we have reception so we set the time with Mom, twice a day and then we walk out there and wait for her call. 

Around noon we heard the rumor from the Pakistani rangers that our paper arrived to the Indian side so we got super excited and walked to the border. It took a while until we explained the Indian soldiers what do we want, even thought they knew us almost by name. Anyway, no paper today, makes me wonder whether it was just a joke of the rangers. 

The next few days passed by in the same way. Stay at the border, watch the Beating the Retreat ceremony again and again and play cards with Dad. He kind of got bored of that too because I always win. 

It is 14th of July, 2005, we are on the way for 3 weeks now, oh well, we were on the way, now we are just waiting. The daily alerts from both side of the border that our paper has arrived give us the daily dose of adrenalin but that's about it. However, today we got the phone call from Mom that it looks like the paper from the embassy won't work so no matter what we need to get the Carnet de Passage. If you are a new reader you can read the whole story about the Carnet here.

It has been 5 days passed with waiting and since we received the uncertain news about the Embassy warranty we decided to go back to Lahore and find some other solution. In the main time Mom was working on the Carnet and it turned out that we could actually get it from Slovakia -since Hungary doesn't issue them- so hopes are up again. 

It was refreshing to leave Wagga border after days of doing nothing there, even if we only went to Lahore. Finding an internet cafe was a little bit challenging as the one we went before was closed. I expected that in the end one of us will have to go back home but still nothing was sure at this point. Mom told us that the Slovakian Automobile Association is willing to issue the Carnet with as little as $500 deposit per bike but one of us has to go to Bratislava. As it is the only viable solution so far and we really need that Carnet someone has to go back for sure. The only problem is it is still uncertain when they are able to issue the Carnet and when Dad -as we decided- should fly back home. 

On the way back to Wagga we received a text message from Mom that the Embassy just called her that they sent the paper to the border and it will arrive tomorrow afternoon. Great, all we have to do is spend another day watching trucks loading and unloading as they can not drive through the border and the Beating the Retreat festival for the sixth times. 

Will it solve our problems and can we enter India tomorrow or will it be another disaster. LOG ENTRY 21 will tell the story. 
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Freight truck at Wagga border, Pakistani side
 
 
LOG ENTRY 19
Wagga – Lahore – Wagga

A long bus trip to the Pakistani Automobile Association just to find out that our effort to get the Carnet here is chanceless. 

The night was terrible in the little hotel in Wagga. Maybe because we were exhausted and kind of devastated from the day before but neither of us had a good night sleep and we kept waking up in sweat. We had plans to visit the Pakistani Automobile Association today in an attempt to get the Carnet. Little we knew that it is impossible at that time so we had big hopes.

The bus ride to Lahore was about an hour. We wanted to get to the office as early as possible as we already had experience with the local bureaucracy and the last thing we wanted is to stuck there for the whole day. Traveling into one of the biggest city in Pakistan in the morning rush was an experience itself. We all used to crowded and smelly public transport in our countries, Lahore wasn’t much different, expect the heat and the smells were a bit stronger.

The office was downtown so we had to interchange once on the bus and then from the bus station we had to take a rickshaw that of course lost the way so an extra 15 minutes of walk came on top of our little journey. Still, we arrived there half an hour before opening. Surprisingly no one was there even when the big grey gates opened front of us. Looking smooth huh? Not so much inside thought, the staff were pretty friendly and helpful with very good spoken English which meant he could tell us in the shortest possible time that it is impossible to obtain the Carnet here as we are not Pakistani citizens. However, he said that if we can find a high ranking official who would guarantee that we take the bikes out of India they might let us in. Sounds like a good advice. We roamed around a bit in Lahore before returning to Wagga as there is no internet connection at the border and we really had to talk with Mom about what happened.

As I wrote in the earlier LOG ENTRY how the Carnet issue solved I won’t be writing endless lines about it. We talked to Mom and she was on it to find solution for the Carnet and also try to find a guarantor as it was recommended to us at the PAA.

Having Mom as a backup is probably the only reason we got this far but her help again is needed. It is incredible what she can organize and achieve in a very short period of time. Let it be organizing half of Citibank’s leadership in Lahore to help us in a shady storage room or in this case getting a letter from the Hungarian ambassador to India in which he guarantees that we will take our bikes out of India. Believe it or not she managed to organize this within a day and all we had to do is sit on our backside for four days to receive it.

Before heading back to Wagga we decided to go and look around –again- in Lahore. This time we walked around with less stressing and stuff, only a small bag with our most important papers. Lahore is a large, one of the largest city in Pakistan and in electronics wise it is much updated. We had seen mobile phones in rickshaw driver’s hand which was hardly out in Hungary yet. Surprisingly, whenever they hear that we are from Hungary they associate us with Nokia as most of the handhelds on the Pakistani market is manufactured in Hungary. In these occasions many of them actually flesh out their new 9110 communicator which was the top of the line mobile phone back in 2005.

Our way back to Wagga was much more pleasant than the way into Lahore in the morning. Hardly any traffic apart from the stray buffalos and we did the whole bus trip with interchange in a little more than half an hour. Crowd wasn’t bad at all and the weather got a little bit less humid which is easier to take even thought the temperature rose since the morning.

For dinner we ordered a full chicken in curry which we waited for about 4 hours to complete and it had 4 wings and 1 drum stick. Must have been a weird chicken. 

 
    Picture
    Aurel Jr. and Sr.

    The Riders:

    Aurel Maracsko and his son Aurel Maracsko jr. 

    We are a father and son duo who loves riding motorcycles. Aurel Jr. or Tom is an enthusiast enduro rider and Aurel Sr. is more of the adventure rider. 

    Me, a combination of Tom Sawyer and the Little Prince, adventurer, dreamer and a crazily enthusiast rider. Jules Verne was the ultimate hero of my childhood, his foresight's of the future and exotic adventures fascinated me to a level which still influences me today. I believe the constant thirst for exploration and the need for learning is the key engine for every adult just as for every child.


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