The police wouldn’t let us go the route we wanted for security reasons as 10 climbers were killed 1 year ago in a mountain hut in the area, I wasn’t happy as I wanted to see this beautiful area although it was for the best as my bike broke down in the middle of nowhere on KKH, better there than where we had wanted to go.
People kept stopping to help and it was diagnosed as a battery problem. I left Heiko with the bikes and got a lift into a town not far away and for 4 hours I tried to find someone to help but it’s Eid and all sane people were at festivities so I was left with the ‘village idiots’ and useless policemen. One helpful man spoke little English so called a friend in England who interpreted, his name was Roger Mohammed Zoret and he was the Slough Town Major in 2008 and a labor MP? This resulted in me arranging a pick up to take my bike to the next big town.
The town misfits gathered and I thought I was on a set of ‘The League of Gentlemen’.
Whilst stuck with the bikes many people told Heiko that he shouldn’t be there as it was the most dangerous road in Northern Pakistan. Taliban in the hills?
The police turned up after 3 hours and canceled the pick up I arranged and did nothing for an hour, it was like a comedy sketch.
Funny how I’ve been exposed to so many AK47’s I don’t even see them any more and the fact that the policeman who I’m shouting at has one didn’t concern me.
Eventually the police take me back to my bike, Heiko’s ok and the police leave us with no plan, one policeman and danger in the mountains! At 3.30 John from Spain turns up on his bike and at 4pm John and Heiko go to try find help and I’m alone on the most dangerous stretch of road in Northern Pakistan.
John told us that the KKH further north had a bad landslide yesterday and 3km of mountain crashed down killing 28 people and causing a 7km lake behind it. We were there only a few days earlier.
A few young Pakistan guys on 125’s turn up and tell me to go a 1/2 km down the road where I can leave the bike, they help push half the way then leave, I struggle getting the bike to where I think could be safety for the night and have an argument with a different young man who won’t help me push my bike even though he can see I’m struggling. I realise after the event I should be making allies not enemies so when I arrive at this very remote place with only a few houses I buy all the locals sweets. I think I readdressed the situation?
As late afternoon looms the young men from the hills appear and they don’t look like Pakistan men I’ve seen for the past month, they don’t smile and I’m really not sure they want me here and for the first time on my travels I know I have to somehow get away so I stand in the middle of the road and stop the only passing lorry I’ve seen in hours and luckily he has an empty refrigerator so we load the bike and left sharp’ish!
I eventually find Heiko & John and tell them I’m taking the lorry all the way back to Islamabad and I’ll see them tomorrow.
It took 12 hours to get to Islamabad and my bike was laying on its side in the back of a refrigerated lorry with petrol leaking everywhere, we opened the back at one point and the petrol fumes were so strong I couldn’t enter to see if my bike was ok. The road is so bad it was like driving along the worst farm track you can imagine for 350km (12 hours). Add to this the fact the driver smoked hash at least every hour and I’m being told there are Taliban in the mountains around us and I just have to laugh at the situation – I’m in a lorry with explosive fumes and petrol in the back being driven down a dirt track of a road by a guy who tripping the light fandango with Taliban around us! And I had to pay the police cash bribes to let us pass checkpoints and it was one hell of a night.
It was about 5.30am when the guys dropped me off at my friends Honda service centre in Islamabad and I hadn’t slept so was shattered.