Another wonderful episode about Mary Smith’s time in Afghanistan thirty years ago, working and living in small villages and traveling on horseback to remote areas.. In this episode, a hair raising horse ride up a mountain and a very warm welcome at her destination.
Waras, Afghanistan – early winter 1989
A narrow defile between towering mountains led us out of the Kirman valley. There was no indication of a way out and I assumed there must be an opening at the far end, not yet visible. It took some time before I understood that the only way out was up – straight up. The track was almost perpendicular, and so narrow it was difficult to believe anything other than a mountain goat could have climbed it. Trying to reassure myself that horses are extremely sure footed, I sat, in a cold sweat, the reins loose in my hand allowing Zeba to do things her way. Whenever one or other of the horses in front stumbled, – which they did with alarming frequency – showers of small stones clattered down the mountain – and shudders of fear down my back.
The views from the mountaintop were superb, but I could only gaze in horror at the tortuous path, wondering how the hell I would ever get back down other than on my hands and knees. I was relieved when Ibrahim assured me the return journey was by a different route. The rest of the journey was straightforward and I was able to relax. Occasionally we rode through small villages but mostly we seemed to be the only people in the world. It was a glorious feeling to be a part of such a deserted, rugged landscape which can hardly have changed since the world was created.
Please head over to enjoy this episode and there are 45 others in the series so far to catch up on….