LOG ENTRY: 13
ODOMETER: 6150 KM – 6564 KM
Zahedan – Mirjhaven – Dalbanden


Sadly leaving Iran and crossing over to Pakistan where our passports quickly got confiscated which it turned out works for our favor. 
The sad day has come when we have to leave Iran. It has been a great few days with hardly any negative things about this country. The people are extremely friendly and welcoming; the country is beautiful, especially if you are into deserts. The different culture, personal cult, architecture, all which is totally different in our western countries are making this place so unique and interesting, at least for us.

The morning started pretty well when they charged us half price than we agreed last night for the hotel. We don’t know why, maybe just the different receptionist last night told us a higher price or the one today liked us for some reason. Before heading to Pakistan we scheduled a quick oil change for today. Petroleum products are very cheap in Iran and also they are very decent quality wise. Apart from the cheap petrol they have all sorts of engine oils and fuel additives, all for a very cheap price. We heard that the fuel will be more expensive in Pakistan but half of the country uses Iranian smuggled petrol which you can buy on the side of the road from barrels. 

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Iran - Pakistan border
The border from Zahedan is about 100 kilometers and as we expected the border crossing will be time consuming and chaotic. With a full tank of last Iranian fuel, new oil and full belly we proceeded to the border.

The Iranian side was very crowded and we ended up waiting four hours to get checked out. After we gave the passports in we had to visit a few different counters where officers came and checked our bikes, making sure that they are the same bikes we came in with. The absence of the Carnet de Passage is painstaking and will starting to get costly from here. Surprisingly when we paid that 200 dollars on the other end of the country they made the effort to phone down here and let them know that we are coming, after all the money wasn’t a bribe as we thought at first.

Departing Iran brought up all sorts of fears in us. Seeing the Pakistani side and thinking how we going to get in and whether the absence of the mystical paper –which was the Carnet as we found out later on- will get us in any more trouble or whether the Pakistani people will be as nice as the Iranians. Lots of question which we were about to find out. 

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Looking back to the Iranian side
The immigration on the Pakistani side was much smaller and modest than its Iranian counterpart. No wonder the fewer people made bigger mess there and its all felt way more crowded than it should be. Ten minutes after we submitted our passport they took us into a separate room and offered teas and biscuits. First we were cautious of this hospitality but then realized they are just being nice. Of course the Carnet and its absence was the main issue they wanted to talk about but after 3 hours of talking over endless amount of teas they let us in. The only restriction was that they took our passports, issued an official letter that we are the guests of the Pakistani state and we have to report every day in a pre-determined police or military outpost on the way where we can stay for free. Sounds like a good gig for us.

The soldier soon arrived and took our passports, he will take the bus to Quetta and then to Lahore and he will give the passports back at the border in Waga. We offered the guy to come with us on the bikes –we were just joking but he took it seriously- but he got scared after seeing the size of them. Luckily he didn’t come with us because he would have sat behind me and after we left the border I had a small crash.

So after 3 hours and lots of teas we are sorted and on our way to the first night’s reporting place Dalbanden. On the way we encountered military/police checkpoint where we had to write down our details in a huge, Harry Potter like book, drink the compulsory tea and tell the same story at each point about our trip. 

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Regular truck in Pakistan
The roads here are way different than the ones in Iran. The quality is bad; sand is blown on the surface everywhere, sometimes forming 5-6 meter tall sand dunes. The wind at many places blew the sand out from under the road making the whole bloody thing collapse, creating huge craters. All this obstacles with the overloaded trucks with stickered out windshields made the ride quite interesting at least to say.

When we arrived to Dalbanden it wasn’t exactly how we expected our first town in Pakistan. It was small, dirty and rather scary looking. It turned out that the confiscation of our passport is the luckiest thing happened to us so far. There were no camping or motel in town and wild camping seemed a bit risky anywhere near the town so staying in the closed military compound looked like our best option.

As we arrived to the highly protected compound the guard didn’t understand at first why we are there but after a few minutes of activity style sign talks they got the leader out who spoke almost perfect English. We showed him the paper we got at the border and he was more than happy to let us in and accommodate us. 

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Dalbandin Mosque
First he wanted us to stay inside the building, which was in fact very creepy looking so we tried to convince him that sleeping outside in a tent would make us much happier. He insisted that we are his friends and we must sleep on a bed and he ordered the guard to bring all the beds outside to the assembly area and tonight everybody has to sleep there. It seemed like that most of the soldiers liked the idea of sleeping outside. Soon after our arrival we got a fairly big dinner from them, also for free and spent the rest of the night with storytelling. Surprisingly the head of the compound was much updated on current European and even Hungarian politics. What a great way to end our first day in Pakistan. 

 


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    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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