An opportunity has presented its self for a mini adventure one might say. So I am sure You are all asking, what would be the natural choice for a destination after such an amazing ride through Africa. Well yes you would be right and your first guess would be spot on. Pakistan it is.
I was lucky enough to hear about this scooter ride from Islamabad up to the China border and back through my friend Ken in the U ess of A, from the second I heard about it my heart started racing, those sparks of adventure set my mind a blaze with the prospect of a new land , new culture , new food and the open road.. Who would have thought that one can hire a vintage Vespa and ride North crisscrossing a country, speeding along the Karakorum highway only to pop out at the Chinese border.
The hard part was trying to explain to Vic that this ride would not include her, I think the fact that I would not be solo and part of a group of three made it easier to explain, pack up and get ready to ride.
The trip did not start out to smoothly, I left home on Tuesday morning for the world class OR Tambo international at 11h00 got on to the plane settled in for the 8 odd hour flight to Doha. The mighty flying machine was pushed back for departure, only to return to the gate for us to see the pilot being wheeled off the aircraft due to illness and the entire plane being disembarked with the new departure time being set at 05h00 the next morning.
So what does one do in a situation like this, well its really easy, have a good steak with crisp vegetables, some chilled sparkling water and however many glasses of wine you need to let you rest and dream, in my case it would be three glasses of a delicious Riesling. This delay caused me to miss my connecting flight to Islamabad, a 6 hour hang out in Doha and an arrival time in the capital city of Pakistan, at the royal hour of 01h45 on Thursday morning. I have to admit that I felt reasonably human on arrival thanks to being able to freshen up in Doha and raid the duty free moisturiser and cologne counter.
I was collected from the airport by Moin and his friend Sunny and taken to Moin’s grandparents home in a quiet leafy suburb of Islamabad for a very welcome shower and a deep sleep before setting off on the ride North. After a fantastic breakfast of omlettes , chilli and chai, shared with Moin’s family and friends including my riding partners Tom and Brook it was off to meet my ride .
Meet the 1970’s B52 blue bomber , powered by a mighty 150 cc two stoke motor producing a spectacular 5,7 horses , cooled by fuel and oil , a four speed box to get you from zero to something , a breaking sytem that has no A or B or S just fade , no mirrors for a rear view or vanity , a kick start to build those calves , indicators that hold orange lenses with no flicker , suspension that has no damp , the engine sound of a angry wasp and the determination of something possesed .
Meet my ride ………………
Until we meet again