In the morning Mr Akbir arranged police escort as he was responsible to do. This seemed to be an overreaction due to the kidnapping of some tourists a few years ago by drug smugglers. None of us were concerned except that they seized our passports, presumably to stop us taking off. The police seemed relatively well organised and equipped except they were perhaps a little slow. We did not have one escort to take us the whole way so had to stop and wait for them to change frequently which grew rather tiring. At one changeover the groups of cops hugged each other and gave kisses on the cheeks much like in France. I wondered what the reaction would be to the police doing this at home!
We got as far as the checkpost after Zahedan and waited there to have tea and chat with some Army guys before finally realising there was no escort possible for the last 100km to the border. We would not be crossing into Pakistan that day so had to head back to Zahedan. Our new army friends were unrelentingly helpful though in showing us to various hotels and negotiating prices for us and tried to organise a letter from the police for Els and Merijn whose Iran visa was due to expire in a day. It was also the time od the Ede festival and we were concerned the border might be closed the next day.
In the morning we were joined by a German guy called Gerard who drove a large Margarus Deutz Truck. It was a foreboding beast which towered high above us and had an evil sounding diesel engine.
Our concerns about the border being closed turned out to be unfounded, but again police escorts and handovers were slow and we ended up at the border about 30 minutes before it was due to close. Thankfully the staff on both sides stayed on to get us through but we were basically the last people of the day. The crossing itself was slow due to a computer problem but relatively painless and with no corruption. On the Pakistan side we went through the formalities and then were fed rice and Tea in the customs house and invited to setup camp outside. Easily the nicest border crossing so far. We were beginning to like Pakistan already.