Peter’s progress

peterthaoCanscene) — Peter Sever and Thao were finally able to leave behind the middle eastern hangups in trying to reach South Asian destinations.

Here’s an update on their journey as of June 1:

The Pakistan-India Border: There is only one road crossing between the nations, and that is 40 km from Lahore at Atari on the India side. The excellent four-land road there was under construction and in parts was sand-trap hell with spinning rear wheel and fear of being stuck in it, in one spot. A true dusty mess and we were filthy and hot after this short 43˚C sprint.

Once we got there, it was a well-organized, polite, graft-free process. The large, spacious, well-staffed border posts were almost empty of travelers, an unhappy sight and cause for concern re trade between two important nations.

Thao had read about the daily border closing ceremonies that start at 6 PM and end at 6:30 – an impressive contest between the two sets of guards, an aggressive marching competition you watch from bleachers at either side. So we hung around in the heat for a couple hours. We have videos of the soldiers in their impressive world’s-fastest-marching action, but they are in Hi-Def and need to be translated …

When the Indians get to the border they kick above their heads in precision, a bold aggressive display at the other team, almost like mooning them with boot bottoms, and assuming the Pakistanis do the same … its all football-match friendly crowd shouting and loudspeakers blaring – in good spirits.

In the end the two flags are slowly lowered in unison, with the crowds standing, kinda touching.

The Indian crowd was huge and civilized in dancing, shouting, celebrating, cheering ‘Hindustan, Hindustan’ while from the less-attended Pakistani side came ‘Pakistan, Pakistan’ – it was fun and very civilized as international competitions go.

After it ended we drove 30 km to Amritsar, Punjab the Sikhs’ most-sacred locale, the Golden Temple.

Also, mutual friend Bill Andersen has prepared an amusing slide show of the travels of Peter, Thao and the Black Bike at:

One Response to “Peter’s progress”

  1. Susan Gould Says:

    Thanks for interesting stories.