The guidebook was relatively negative about the stretch from Taftan to Quetta. Being mostly desert it mentioned that overlanders described this as the most boring part of their journey. I had no idea what sort of road conditions to expect and was concerned in case the going would get too tough for Helens lowered bike and mine with the low sump. It turned out that except for a few patches the road was fine.
It was indeed a little boring, but that was just what we needed after the scare stories in the media about Pakistan. I thought I would rather take a little bit of boredom than any dodgy security situation. Our police escort was a single cop for most of the way who was armed but conveniently was able to ride in the German truck so we kept a fairly quick pace all the way to Dalbandin after 300km. We were met with smiles and waving from locals and friendly staring curiosity every time we stopped. We did however note the kids making gestures to get a pen. Something which started years ago with missionaries giving away pens in the belief they would do a little good for the country but it soon became ‘expected‘.
In Dalbandin we stayed at the only hotel in town for a mere 500 rupees for a double room (less than a fiver). We replaced Els‘ chain and sprockets after they started making a clicking noise in Zahedan (chain breaking out here would not be good) and discovered the reason was a worn split link, probably due to no grease when it was assembled.
This was also the place the others had heard we could get our first beer after Iran and did indeed have the goods. At home I would regularly go through a month or two without a beer and think nothing of it, but somehow not having been able to have one in Iran made us all look forward to that moment. Unfortunately it was less spectacular than any of us remembered and overpriced in any case (2 beers costing more than the room) so we left it at one each and went to bed to get up early in the morning for the run to Quetta.