Sandstorms in Bam

This was it anyway, we were on our way to Pakistan now, well and truly.  I was somewhat nervous to say the least.  Pakistan has recently been statistically proven to be one of the top two most dangerous countries to be in at the moment.  However, I would like to say, I was definitely not as nervous as our German friend.  He was very worried.  I had met the Englishman from Nepal, and his cheerfulness was keeping me buoyant.

Our next voyage was to Bam, the tourist spot that was sadly flattened in the 2003 quake.  

The road was hot, dusty, never-ending:  the usual Iranian road-trip. And then a ridiculous side-wind blew across the flat desert, kicking up monstrous dust clouds and causing us to wobble horribly for hours.  The sand sort of whipped against my skin, and stung like crazy. 


Then road-works started up, just to take away any pleasure we might have been squeezing from the experience.  We had to keep veering off the road into deep gravel.  We headed straight for oncoming trucks, and were almost unable to get back on our side of the road, the wind was so strong.  In case I haven’t painted a thorough enough picture, as rides go it wasn’t pleasant.

A very worldly-wise, friendly old owner greeted us as we rocked up, exhausted, outside the hotel.  He fed us tea and told stories of the strange sights he’s seen through his guest-house.  I was very pleased to have arrived.  Akbar's Guest House in Bam is brilliant, thanks mainly to Mr Akbar.  Anyone going should stay there, and mention us too!

We crashed at half eight, unable to keep our eyes open any longer.

Bam had an amazing old citadel made of mud.  Tourists came from miles around to see it.  Then an earthquake decided to hit it, and destroyed the entire town.


The citadel we saw was pretty much a pile of rubble, slowly being rebuilt brick by brick.  It looked like something very large had sat on it.  They are rebuilding it using only traditional methods, which means it will take 15 years to rebuild. It will probably be a tourist attraction again though, if nothing else because it will be the only new mud-brick citadel.  After all that work, Adam said, it would be very tempting to cheat and chuck a bit of re-enforced concrete in while no one was looking. 

While we were visiting it our bike got vandalized.  We came back to find someone had pulled the throttle cable straight out of the throttle grip.  It wouldn’t start, and it took a while of faffing, in the heat, surrounded by interested army personnel, to fix it again. 

And then it backfired onto my leg and everyone laughed.  Grrr.

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