Waking up on the floor in a dirty, dusty police compound with prisoners 20 metes away and armed guards around me isn’t one of my more common experiences. Taftan is no holiday resort. The guard with the AK47 or whatever make of rifle it is was still outside our room, I actually felt reassured bearing in mind I have read for so long now that there are ‘baddies’ outside the jail walls.
We were told armed guards would collect us at 7am to take us hopefully half way along the 700km road to Quetta, We left at 8 and travelled 10 minutes into the desert and stopped. 5 minutes later another 4WD arrived with another traveller to join us, it is Luke the Dutch guy I met in Yazd, amazing! He jumped in the back of one of the trucks and we started our journey across Balochistan.
We travelled 300km to Dalbandin and stopped at about 10 military check points and showed our passports every time. At one I completed the passport information in the book myself and saw that my friend Oli from London completed the book 7 weeks before. I love these random experiences. It was interesting to note that in the 7 weeks since Oli signed the book only 15 other international visitors had passed through, that’s 2 per week. Balocestan obviously isn’t a hot tourist destination!
I’ve been riding in the desert for so many days now and I wonder why anyone would want to be here other than the camels. It’s way over 40degrees.
We arrived at our destination and were rushed straight into our hotel compound, we rode in and the gates locked behind us, it’s 2.30pm. We had had many armed guards with us throughout the day and I thank them all for taking care of us.
The room cost £2.50 and we relaxed in the shade in the hotel courtyard with beer, oh yes, beer at last and curry is on the menu. Our rooms are hotter than the desert so we sleep on the hotel roof.
Our group consists of myself (English), French, Dutch, German, Spanish, American and a dog. We have been told hardly anyone else is travelling through Balochistan and I do understand why.
I feel safe in this area of such conflict.