Friday, January 16, 2009

Surprise House Guest

Duarte returned from India yesterday with a surprise guest, an Italian overlander trying to drive from Calcutta back to Italy. All seemed well when I heard Duarte had caught a ride from the Wagha border to Lahore, until an hour later he called to say they'd broken down. Now, the car they were in was no normal car, but a massive Fiat RV with a full bed and stove set up inside! After I rescued them and got them some lunch, they spent the rest of the day driving around Lahore trying to find a match for the broken brake disc on the Fiat. Since nobody drives Fiats in Pakistan, and nobody drives RVs, the parts guys were not optimistic. Our new Italian friend, Sergio, may need to have a piece custom made or order it from Italy.

On top of that, he's trying to cross the border into Iran and doesn't yet have his visa authorization code. To get a visa to Iran, you need to first apply for an authorization code via private company, like Persian Voyages, and then wait a few weeks to get the code. When you apply, you tell them where you want to pick up the visa and then you can get it stamped in your passport at that location. If you don't have a code, it seems it can take quite a long time to get it from an Iranian embassy or consulate.

Traveling is always an adventure, especially in this part of the world!

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