THE WEISSBORN STORY EPISODE 4: BY MOTORCYCLE THROUGH PAKISTAN

Published by RISER at October 20, 2017 in Articles

Riserblog weissborn episode 4 1

To the left, to the right, in front of and behind me, a pure desert landscape. The wind scatters sand over the street and the last road sign appears to my right, indicating the crossing point between the town of Mirjaveh and a road about 5 km (3 miles) long lying straight ahead and leading to the border of Pakistan.

The section leading through Pakistan is a very sensitive issue, especially for my family and friends at home. The night before I received the last phone calls with great concern, informing me that something would happen to me in this country – kidnapping, assault, being assassinated. But it was my decision to take this step.

Riserblog weissborn episode 4 9

A checkpoint turns up on the horizon. Two soldiers of the Iranian military stop me and prevent me from continuing my journey. “From here on, only with military escort.” A few minutes later four men aboard a solid 4x4 pickup truck appear. The simple task, follow the vehicle. The hooded soldiers on the loading area, armed with assault rifles, wave me to a safe distance, while the driver turns the speed up. We reach the border crossing. No people, the documents are stamped. An Iranian border official is still trying to convince me not to enter Pakistan. At this point, there is definitely no turning back for me. Passing the huge border gate I enter a completely different world. Never before in my life have I experienced such a contrast when crossing a national border. The meagre infrastructure, the people. While the documents are being processed, a police officer is introduced to me and I am told that I will spend the night at the police station. The next day the five-day journey through Balochistan will begin with the police escort. Leaving the police station is not allowed under any circumstances, the friendly policemen offer us to get something for dinner at the market. The cuisine is now very similar to that of India.

After a night on the floor of an office, we will now proceed to the first section. One pick-up, three officers.

Riserblog weissborn episode 4 12

“Start your engine," the last words of the escort as he’s routinely racking the slide of his AK-47. For a moment I feel like I’m on the film set of Madmax. One last refuelling stop, three 1.5 litre bottles of petrol are refilled and off we go, through the desert of Balochistan, along the border to Afghanistan. A whole day riding in heat, checkpoints at a distance of one hour to the next, where I have to register until we reach a hotel in Dalbandin in the evening. A completely new feeling when a soldier is assigned to me as bodyguard, who will stay at the hotel. But my neighbours from the room next door, Pakistanis working for the UN, invite me to dinner. Traditionally we’re sitting on the floor and eating with our hands. This evening, I become aware of the hospitality the Pakistanis are showing.

At midnight, a power outage occurs in the village with a loud buzzing noise. At first glance, the desert landscape looks like it’s snow-covered in the silvery shimmering moonlight.

Riserblog weissborn episode 4 13

The next few days are characterised by the constant escort through endless desert landscapes and countless checkpoints. I’m held up in the city of Quetta for a total of four days and of course it is not possible to leave the hotel.

Balochistan is still an unsafe region, only three days after I left the city of Quetta, there was an attack at the local police academy – a total of 60 cadets were killed. However, security is in the eye of the beholder. If we add up the number of people who die in "shootings" in the USA and compare the number of population – Pakistan with about 200 million inhabitants and the USA with about 320 million – this raw statistics show that the USA and Pakistan should be at about the same level of security.

Riserblog weissborn episode 4 6

But at this time I'm already in Lahore and can either cross the border to India directly or explore the north towards the Karakorum Mountains. Of course, my family and friends advise me to leave the country as soon as possible. In taking this decision I would have missed a lot of things, as it turned out later.

Breathtaking panoramas awaiting me every day, the eight-thousanders and incredible expanses of space. The world is so peaceful and the people are friendly. A small village called Hunza, beautifully situated in the mountains, is even a so-called Blue Zone, where the population has a very high life expectancy. The journey towards Skardu, along the Indus River, leading up into a valley with a cold desert and to the foot of the K2, the second highest mountain in the world. The countless milk teas and numerous invitations of the locals, make me feel like a true adventurer being the only tourist at that time – I haven't met anyone else in one month.

Riserblog weissborn episode 4 8

The Pakistanis are proud and make the trip to one of the highest border crossings in the world at the Khunjerab Pass and thus to the gate to China. Once there we went back south, the direction of chaos, into the masses of people, cars, tuk-tuks and countless mopeds. To Punjab and the border to India. A country that could be a continent with about 1.6 billion inhabitants.

PHOTOS


Riserblog weissborn episode 4 1 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 2 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 3 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 4 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 5 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 6 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 7 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 8 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 9 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 10 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 11 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 12 small Riserblog weissborn episode 4 13 small
All photos copyright Johannes Weissborn

LINKS


RISER - Driven by Adventure

LATEST ARTICLES

Teaser

AFTERWORK-TOUR AROUND LINZ

Published by DOMINIK FENZL at August 08, 2018 in Articles
Dominik is a RISER AMBASSADOR and shares his motorcycle experiences on the RISER blog with you. Follow him on RISER APP, check his routes and stay up to date on the latest recommendations! Dominik likes to make short trips on his Vespa, especially after long office days...
Teaser

CRUISIN’ AROUND AUSTRALIA: FROM WOLLONGONG TO MELBOURNE

Published by MOGI at July 20, 2018 in Articles
Heading from Wollongong, down the Princess Highway, all the way to Eden. Sounds like a long way but, there are heaps of stops on the way. It could take 8 to 12 hours to do it, if you really wanted to. But for me, I’ll cruise, I didn’t need to stop until Batemans Bay for fuel, already been there so I pushed on, through to Bega and a stop at the Yellow Peach Dam Rest Area, was awesome...
Teaser

THE COUNTRY-, BLUES & WHISKEY MOTORCYCLE TOUR. GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN PT.2

Published by GINA DREWES at July 13, 2018 in Articles
I don't listen to country, rarely blues - and whiskey is not necessarily the drink of my choice. But how could I have said no to a route that has the same title and leads through the country where my Harley was born! Although I had not yet had the urge to explore America, this motorcycle route through the southern states aroused my curiosity.
Teaser

A 3-DAY TRIP ON THE NORTH COAST 500 IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

Published by JOHN ADAM at July 05, 2018 in Articles
For anyone who doesn’t know, the North Coast 500 is a circular route circumnavigating mostly coastal roads around the northern tip of the Scottish Highlands. It is generally accepted that the start point is Inverness, and from there what awaits you is just over 800 kilometers of sweeping bends, single track back whacks and what is arguably the most incredible scenery in the UK...
Teaser

AUSTRALIA’S GREAT OCEAN ROAD OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

Published by PAUL MILLWALL at June 24, 2018 in Articles
In the past, I've had the opportunity to be part of the guide team on a trip several times. But this time it happened rather by accident: Damien, the ride host had broken his wrist the week before on the track, and asked me if I could cover for him.
Teaser2

THE WEISSBORN STORY EPISODE 8 – THAILAND ON A MOTORBIKE

Published by JOHANNES WEISSBORN at June 08, 2018 in Articles
A sunny day. The last few kilometers accompanied by our guides through Myanmar. The first limestone cliffs appear. From Kawkareik, a well-paved road meanders over the Tenasserim ridge. For the first time since leaving Western Turkey, the tires are clinging to undamaged and grippy asphalt. After 170km Mae Sot is reached, the border town to Thailand: from poverty to wealth. Thailand is an infrastructure and economic paradise.
Teaser2

WHAT IS NEW TO RISER PRO?

Published by RISER at April 26, 2018 in Articles
On April 16th we finally could launch RISER PRO! To give you a good overview of all differences between the basic and PRO version, and how to upgrade to PRO, we have summarized all important information here for you...
Teaser

WE WILL START THE SEASON WITH RISER PRO

Published by RISER at March 19, 2018 in Articles
As we have already told you, there will be a lot going on at RISER this spring. We are happy to announce, that in April we will launch RISER PRO, a premium membership including many exciting new features. In addition to the free basic version and all functions you know by now, RISER PRO will include intelligent features to enhance your riding experience, particularly in terms of navigation and route planning...
Teaser

A SELECTION OF THE COOLEST ALL-FEMALE MOTORCYCLING CLUBS

Published by RISER at March 07, 2018 in Articles
Women are still under-represented in the world of motorcycling and motor racing, but they are no longer exceptions. Although motorcycling clubs often consist of men only and do not accept female members, that too does change: more and more women are discovering motorcycling for themselves and starting their own clubs that break stereotypes and create their own rules. Today we want to introduce you to a selection of the coolest clubs...