[For mountain roads, they don’t come much more spectacular than the Kabul Gorge with its death-defying drops and smashed cars left as warnings to drivers. Geoff our laconic driver took it all with his usual deadpan calm demeanour and delivered us safely to the mild plains below – so mild that we slept out under the stars. Even a bloated stomach didn’t prevent me enjoying the beautiful, noisy Afghan night.]
THURSDAY 25TH NOVEMBER, 1976
“Up 7.30. Packed to noises of front street below window – music blaring away. Got Neva to help me chose another padded jacket from our little friend [for my Mum] Then had toast and coffee.
Bus cleaned – nearly choked with dust!
Soon left plain and into Kabul Gorge! Really spectacular cliffs and drops, tunnels and winding roads. Dizzy feeling looking up at massive rocks. Wreck of a van left at one corner as a cautionary tale.
Jalalabad surrounded by trees and irrigated fields. Couldn’t get through border before sunset so camped on Afghanistan side. Didn’t bother putting up tent because so mild (and ground of the peg bending type!)
Have got real gut ache – had some of Geoff’s liver salts – ugh. Stomach swollen, can’t do up trousers!
Great lying out under starry sky – went to sleep listening to Supertramp. Woke in night to hear dogs barking, donkey braying, someone singing in wailing voice and a guard shouting his head off (probably for lack of something better to do) and Janice snoring!”