We managed to get the parts for Liz's bike courtesy of Michael Buttinger at CMSNL and Mark Hoogenkamp at DHL. Without the help of these guys we would have had to stay at Esfahan for at least another week, and their assistance is very much appreciated. We also very much appreciate the dedication of our mate Dave in the UK who initially assisted us with locating the parts, unfortunately Honda UK couldn't source the parts for us quickly enough.
The parts actually arrived in Esfahan on the Sunday, but due to two days' holiday in Iran we didn't get them until Wednesday morning. It took very little to repair Liz's bike and we decided we had had enough of Esfahan so rode straight to Yazd that afternoon.
We stayed at the Silk Road Hotel there and caught up with a great group of fellow travellers (some going the same way we were, others coming from where we were heading), and we shared travel stories and information on the roads ahead.
Steve and Stuart were brave enough to eat Camel Curry at the restaurant there (it was absolutely delicious).
We stayed at Yazd for three nights before heading to Kerman for one night then Bam for one night.
We stayed at a guesthouse in Bam that was totally destroyed in the earthquake a few years back and have almost completed the new hotel next to their temporary quarters.
We were advised by the guesthouse owner's son (who was trapped beneath the rubble of the quake for four hours before he could be dug out) that Zahedan was too dangerous to stay so we decided to make a long ride straight to the border and stay at Taftan on the Pakistan side of the border (a very wild frontier town Taftan is).
We stayed at the only hotel there and were charged far too much, the hotel was soooo hot that we all slept on the hotel foyer under the stars.
We arose early the next day and headed across the Sandy Desert to Dalbandin where we again stayed at the only hotel in town.
On the way there we encountered roadworks where some guys were laying dynamite to blow a cutting through a small hill, for us the only way forward was to ride over the dynamite and the uncleared rubble. A bit of off-road riding for the bikes, but we managed to get over it OK.
After Dalbandin we again headed off early to beat the heat and also as we had been told that the road between Dalbandin and Quetta was a tough one as the road narrows to a single lane width where trucks break their axles as they pass eachother and sink in the sand on the sides.
We were stopped 15KM out of Quetta where the police insisted on giving us an escort into town (we thought we had riden through the worst of it already) which was fortuitous as it is a dificult town to navigate.
We eventually got to our little paradise of a hotel and decided to stay for four nights. We had our first beer in months on our first night and enjoyed fantastic food.
We are now on our last day here in Quetta and have been told that we can not stay at DG Khan which is our next destination, so we shall be plotting another route to Islamabad.
Today we met a young doctor who helped Stuart and us with some translating when we were shopping for essentials. He invited us back to his family home for lunch and was proud to show us around the family compound. The three of us are returning this evening for BBQ goat legs (yes, you read correct) and more friendly hospitality.
Our next major destination is Islamabad/Rawalpindi where we will have our bikes looked over and hire a jeep to drive up the Karakoram Highway up into the Himalays.
We will update the blog when we return to Islamabad if not sooner.