Thursday, 18 October 2007

Day 28 – Iran – Pakistan

Saturday 13th October 2007

An early breakfast and it was back on the bus, which thankfully was still there, for the short drive to the Pakistani border. As we were not taking the bus with us we unloaded the bags and carried them through to our new buses, two 20 seater sprinter style buses. The border was the quickest so far and we were soon processed, stamped and on the road. Divided for the 1st time we became OzBus Blue and OzBus Beige. This sorted out we began our long drive to Quetta on very bad roads. We were destined to arrive at around midnight where a 100 beers, the promise of whisky and the possibility of watching England v France awaited. If all had gone to plan this would pretty much be the end of today’s entry but this is OzBus and if it can go wrong it probably will!

About 40mins from Quetta the driver of OzBus Blue (the bus I was on) was distracted by our police escort overtaking us. Just as the Irish lad in the front seat was about to tap him on the shoulder and point out that we may be a little close to the edge of the road, said road suddenly disappeared from under the left hand side of the bus!

I was dozing at the time so was shocked awake by various shrieks and screams and the realisation that I was now sat at a 45 degree angle and sliding to my left. Our Irish hero who has come to the rescue several times before took control. Keeping everyone seated was the key to stopping us tipping over till OzBus Beige returned to help. Blue was then tied to Beige while the bags were taken off the top then we clambered off as well. A little shaken but unhurt we then had little to do apart from watch our ex-army boys work with the Pakistani guide and drivers to get the bus back on the road. A local truck and the Beige bus worked to together and after a few tries managed to get us back on the road and on the way to Quetta.

At around 1am we finally made it to the hotel. The rugby was over but at least England won, the beer was cold (in fact many of them were actually frozen solid) and dinner was basic but filling. The hotel, where we are staying for 2 nights, was an experience. One look at the sheets and it was clear we would be needing our sleeping bags tonight. The toilet with the room is best described by the fact that when I came to bed at 5am it was not my drunken stumbling that woke up my girlfriend but the smell that came from the loo when I popped in for a late night pee. Still after 9 days in a dry country beer and whisky makes up for a lot and a few hardcore drinkers were still going strong by breakfast the next day.

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