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Published: September 28th 2014
Bridge repair near Chilas
Many hands meke light work.
But still took 2,5hrs, well after dark.
Leaving Deosai high plane, I had been advised not to travel through Chilas at night - risk of banditory.
Kind hard when bridge 50km from Chilas was closed for emergency repairs till 9pm, but helpfully was reunited with Dmitry also waiting in quew, the mood was good, watched locals lift 6m 9" girders by hand was inspiring.
From Chilas we wanted to go directly south over the Balakot pass 4200m, but this road not open to foreigners.
So followed KKH to east though Besham & Abbottobad was the only alternative, we had on/off police escort to Abbottobad, a hot spot for terrosum in area, would seam the police escorts were often used for on this tourist route, was hyper efficient at times with escort changing on move every 30km, but also occasionally a 90min wait too. Arrival in Attobad our first big city was chaotic, follow blue lights fast through wild dusty traffic, to Cinbad hotel at 9pm.
10am departure with escort direct from hotel to 30km from Rawalpindi, then released onto 'Pindi ring road at noon. Dmitry soon vanished to Islamabad, I tried for a bit shopping to buy 21" front tyre
A security check point
One of many, some have pole, others a rope pulled from brick house back from road - extra security.
Sometime invited back into buildings to fill in log book, and drink Chai.
- quite rare, found one at Javad auto on Kashmir's road, near centre of city, must be 100 tyre outlets in area. Agreed to fit tyre on Wednesday, asas there was some wear left in Kyrgyz one. Question was how to get to Quetta & Iran, "Go West to Kohat and Zhob - is only way" this was bad advice from a security perspective, but did suggested a run down to Lahore and back to see India border.
So is Pakistan safe? My opinion yes, people are friendliest I've met. The story before U arrive is all bad, and is so wrong. Yes there are serious terrorist risks, last year 12 tourists were murdered just 25km from my route, and their have been other incidents every week, but authorities regard tourists safety as very important, each police district makes a huge endeavour to pass visitors on safely to next region. The rest of world shoiuld sort it's own shootings out before condeming Pakistan - which could not be trying harder. The terrorism risk varies greatly with area, some places Ubcan go out at night, elsewhere just cannot leave hotel unescorted, twice people threw stones at me on
Security escort change over.
Nearly always a Toyota truck, with an armed police officer in back, each vehicle does about 30km across it's patch, nearly always meet next car directly.
move - was worst I saw.
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