London - Kabul <-click for map/cliquez pour carte.

We crossed the channel by hovercraft, a now extinct species, and took the standard root through Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia (also extinct), then through Bulgaria to Turkey. We avoided Greece which at the time was a military dictatorship, the Colonels didnít approve of long hair. We crossed the Bosphorous by ferry then trundled on across the arid hills of Turkey, through Iran, still under the Shah and distinctly more prosperous than either of its neighbours. 

From Teheran we headed up North via the Caspian to avoid the heat of the desert, overheating being a permanent problem. Meshed, Herat, the southern route by Kandahar to Kabul on a road built half by the Russians and half by the Americans, as an amused Afghan explained to us. 

At a halt, in a faded but once modern motel, we met a tourist with a horse which was more dead than alive. He had set out to ride across the whole country but hadnít quite made it. 

It had taken us about two weeks to reach the Afghan capital, driving night and day, with very rare stops, breakdowns excepted. Speed was not Albertís specialty, but, to be fair, we were well loaded.

We spent nearly two weeks in Kabul, between the campsite by a lake, just outside town and a restaurant in the town centre, which, as we later discovered, refused access to anyone wearing local clothing. The time was spent resting and struggling with bureaucracy,  before getting customs clearance and being allowed to head up into Nuristan.

We continued East via the famous Kabul gorge, past some unbelievably vivid blue lakes to Jalalabad and then a left turn to the Kounar valley.