Day 21: Quetta

Let me show you what the Foreign & Commonwealth Office say about Quetta.

What is equally worrying is that any research on Google comes up with some shocking information about the area and constant civil unrest. I did a search for Quetta markets, to see what was on offer and where people shop, and I get a dozen images of fruit and veg and six times that of unrest, military action and gutted cars and buildings. All in markets, though, so can’t grumble too much. One article I read discussed the tribal problems that are inherent with this region. As a virtual traveller I can only continue the trip and sample what this region has to offer, knowing that being there could be otherwise dangerous.

Quetta has a wide and varied history. The city is at an altitude of 1,680 m (5,500 ft) and close to the Afghanistan border, which means the local military is an important addition. There are mountain peaks one almost all sides. It is barely 3C today, although sunny, and as I am going north again, it’s time to get my coat on.

Dry fruits and nuts galore.

To think that this is all local produce.

The area is susceptible to earthquakes and Quetta was largely destroyed in 1934 killing about 40,000 people and reducing large sections of the city to rubble. Since then, a great number of new builds of single storey properties have been constructed in a more quake-resistent method using reinforced concrete. Additional to these are multi-storey car parks and apartments, and although designed to be quake-proof, are a tad worrying.

I spend a couple of hours here and decide to move on. The tribal regions are north west and very close, and just about any quide suggests staying well away from them. With on one official border crossing between Pakistan and India, I decide to plot a course east, but Google maps has a very specific view of what direction it wants to go in, and that is a little too north for my liking. Time to plot a better route.

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