Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pakistan’s Hell Road is Not for the Faint Hearted [Video]

Pakistan’s 240 kilometre (149 mile) Lowari Pass is the only supply route between the town of Dir and the small villages in the mountainous Chitral Valley. It is here on the Afghan border in the country’s northwest that truckers risk their lives for a paltry US$60 (Pakistan’s average wage) and a bonus of US$180...if they make it back alive and with their precious cargo unharmed.
The trucks are old, some nearing the one million-kilometer mark (620,000 mile) on the odometer, with avalanches, landslides and falling rocks marking the four-day journey. The roads are worn and there are no crash barriers; there is not even enough room for two trucks to pass side by side. The highest point is 3,100 metres (10,170 feet) above sea level where the air is so thin it is difficult to stay awake or even move. Brakes overheat on the descent and without them death is a long drop to oblivion.

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