THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

Monthly Archives: November 2013

“The third stage, above the barracks, consisted of warehouses, bakeries, kitchens, and other residential rooms. The view from this stage is magnificent, but the way to it should only be attempted by the most ardent enthusiasts” Nancy Hatch Dupree [describing the climb to the top of Shar-i-Zohak, the ruins of a castle destroyed by Genghis Khan, at the entrance to the Bamiyan Valley] – An Historical Guide to Afghanistan  (1977) ************************************** August… Read More

The author at Ahmad Shah Massoud’s tomb in the Panjshir Valley –  September 2012

The Minaret of Jam The Central Route through Afghanistan from Kabul to Herat was the Holy Grail of travel adventures. In 2006 I traveled with Paul Clammer when he was writing the Lonely Planet Guidebook to Afghanistan. One of my photographs of the Minaret of Jam appears in that book.

July 1972, I was standing on University Avenue in Berkeley with my thumb out, and a cardboard sign in my hand reading: AFGHANISTAN It took a week to hitch to New York, then I flew Icelandic Airlines to Luxembourg. Another 9 days to reach Istanbul by thumb. I met a couple of travelers just back from crossing the Sahara when I stayed a few days in Geneva on the way, and we… Read More