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Sukkur to Moenjodaro


I was in for a rude awakening this morning as I got another unexpected visit from the police. There to escort me to Larkana, I came to realise that whatever check out time and destination I put on the hotel visitor card I was probably going to be held to it. The problem with that is that I was more often than not unsure of onward connections, and so after another futile trail out to the train station by police pick up truck I was back in my room for half 9, my armed escort would come back later in time for the direct train to Moenjodaro at 2. That would get me there just in time to see the place close, but try explaining all that to the Pakistani police. More shite, and I was going to be in it. With the morning to kill I still failed to track down an interesting but elusive minaret which I could see quite close by with the distinctive appearance of a factory chimney, it defied all attempts at isolating it amongst the alleyways of the bazaar. I ended up back at the river where many birds of prey squabbled with each other in mid-air and a near naked boy completely caked in mud played along the shore. The cops failed to materialise at half 1 as promised so I had to trek out to the station just for them to show up in the nick of time just before departure. Then I got a big surprise when I was ushered to sit with a Korean family, the Kims from Pusan the second city, who were also going to Moenjodaro. They said I was welcome for the moral support and I knew the feeling.

A 3 hour trundle through flat expanses of paddy fields and salt encrusted earth got us to Moenjodaro station, a tiny affair where the cops from Dokri the small local town had obviously been forewarned to meet us. In the back of one pick up and then another, the 28K lift to the site was an added bonus and we found ourselves at the Archaeological Resthouse, the only guests for the night, I was so glad not to be on my own. It was a bit pricey compared to normal fare but then that was only to be expected, even the waiter boy was quick to flash the postcards and souvenirs. A short stint outside for fresh air that night revealed what I had not considered, we were really in the middle of the jungle here, a Hindi derived word after all, and the wildlife was perfectly apparent. First I came across a very large insect capable of flight, it was a full 6 centimetres long and resembled a cockroach but with massive jaws. Its head bobbed back and forth so that initially I thought it was in a feeding frenzy but I couldnt be sure, it was big enough to smother any prey. It was also big enough to stare back at you, and reminded me that they had scorpions in this part of the world too. It soon scarpered when an owl which might have been a barn owl swept past me at head height and nestled on a nearby exposed tree branch. Then for good measure a very large beetle emerged, it was a big black dome the size of a golf ball and might have been a dung beetle. The high pitched chirp of crickets completed the scene, that was until a security guy came along and warned me of the prolific roaming jackals.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Pakistan

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