Overland 1972 - Day 43


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March 25th 1972
Published: April 23rd 2013
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Day 43 - Saturday 25th March

It was difficult to sleep on the coach. At 4am Heather and I went for a walk around the centre of Kandahar. The roads were still lit and the drains smelt pretty offensive. There were a few people around and surprisingly some shops were already open. At 5am the Imam called the people to prayer and gradually the scene changed until by 7am the square was filled with people and also vendors selling nuts, raisons, rice and bread from their hand pulled stores. There were beggars to be seen and some tried to get on the coach. It was interesting to see the wide variation in dress. Apparently we had to change coaches for Kabul and some guys had already moved our rucksacks - no problem until they demanded money - no deal though - hassle we could do without. I checked my rucksack and discovered that my three unused films were missing and presumably stolen. Another pocket containing my maps was soaking wet.

The new coach for the final part of the journey was very rickety, slow and uncomfortable with nowhere to rest one's head. The scenery was uninspiring with mountains in the distance. The coach stopped once en route at a small town which was very dirty and had people washing in a filthy looking stream. Eventually the coach arrived in Kabul with the ominous sight of seeing a similar looking coach hanging over the side of the river bank ! At the coach station, we were immediately surrounded by hoteliers and had to struggle to stop our luggage being grabbed in their enthusiasm. There was a wide selection of hotels and after finding the location recommended by a friend we settled on one with hot water at a price of 20 Afghanis per bed in a room for three people. Alas the bed was very hard but the room was clean and the staff were brilliant.

After settling in, I went for a walk and found the Post Office. On the way back to the hotel, I passed through an old looking bazaar which sold practically everything but was cheap and tatty. The hotel had a balcony overlooking the nearby square and therefore it was a good place to relax and watch the world go by. Changing money was no problem as the manager arranged for a money-changing to come to your room. A tiring few days from Teheran and so slept well.

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