09-Sep-2004 -- This is the 12th out of 29 confluences on our tour from Germany to China, the story continues from 29N 59E.
On the nineteenth day of our tour we started in Quetta and intended to drive to Multan that day. But this time, we would not be able to reach our goal. From Quetta we wanted to take the road eastwards to Ziarad and Loralai. At the beginning, everything seemed fine, but gradually the road conditions became worse. Big loose rocks on the road and rivers made progress almost impossible. Obviously we had taken the wrong road. But we had followed it already for too long, the option to turn back was too bitter to swallow. So, we kept on following the road. Even the GPS receiver couldn't be much of a help, because our map didn't have the GPS grids. I am a surveyor, I should have been able to find a way out, but this time I flopped. We finally made it to a main road again – but it was not our route as originally planned, we were too far south. We quickly decided to change plans and take the southern route via Jacobabad to Multan, which meant a deviation of about 300 km, or, time wise one more day to drive.
On the other hand, this gave us the opportunity to visit this confluence. It was unbelievable: the main road from Quetta to Jacobabad almost hit the confluence! At the closest point it is just 460 m from the CP. Very happily, I jumped out of the car, ran to the confluence, shot the pictures and was back to the car within 15 minutes. Even from the confluence point, the beautiful decorated Pakistani trucks could be seen.
After the confluence visit, we had our lunch in Belpat, where we met this elderly man. In the evening, we tried to visit CP 28N 69E near the Indus river, but with a remaining distance of 5 km we couldn't find a road and daylight was quickly fading. We not only gave up visiting the confluence but faced the problem of finding a place for the night. You really can't drive in darkness on these roads: truck drivers tend to act like crazy here and orientation is very limited in the darkness (there are no lights near the road and there is hardly any illumination in the towns). Already a little desperate while trying to find a place to stay, we turned into a little yard in a village. It was almost dark and we did not know what to expect. This area of Pakistan hardly ever sees tourists. But the people were incredibly friendy to us! We could camp on their ground, got a great meal (the best curry chicken I ever had) and a great breakfast in the morning. They also put a fan next to our tent so we could sustain the heat better. The next morning we were shown around the village. On top of this, we were given these beautiful blankets before saying good bye. Joko, to the left, is our Swiss fellow traveller we met at the Iranian-Pakistani border and travelled together for more than three weeks.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 13:00 a.m.
- Duration: 15 min (until we were back on our route)
- Distance of car parking: 462 m
- GPS height: 90 m
- Description: Absolutely flat land, the soil cracked due to dryness. Hardly any vegetation. It must have been irrigated farmland recently
- Given Name: The Quick Confluence
Story continues at 30N 71E.