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I would like to cross into Quondus, Afghanistan from Dusti, Tajikistan (from what I read the border -ferry- is open for foreigners).
From there south to Kabul and then the Khyber Pass to Peshawar.
Ok, there are several issues:
-How safe/dangerous is Afghanistan (Kabul and the area I'll be going through)?
-Can anyone verify that it's possible to cross the border coming from Dusti?
-Is it possible (safe?) to go though the Khyber Pass to Peshawar?
I checked the LP site, but found a lot of conflicting opinions .. I'm sure some of the posters couldn't find the country on a map
I did read that thread, but most of it is old, and in this region 1 year can mean a completely different security situation.
Also the route I'm planning from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and then to Pakistan isn't discussed in that thread, more the areas north of my route.
Pics will take some time, awful weather here & I started stripping the bike (a bit) to fully checkout the bike. Will post some before, progress & after pics.
understand your feelings because the route appealed to us as well. it looked doable when we started planning but not anymore when we passed there this summer. all this info is second hand, but we met some backbackers who'd been in the afghanistan and loved it, but would never do it again. also most of the ngo people we met considered the northern area less safe now than in the last five years. same goes for peshawar; we met a french couple who'd actually lived in pakistan for several years and said the area on the border was turning more unstable than before. but as you said things change fast, so i guess you should try to find out when you come to it. for the rest of the route check out nick foulerton's site at Home | Foulerton.com
I'm also looking at this route as an alternative if i am turned away from China (almost hope i will be). I'm really throwing petrol on my fire, was meant to be doing a completely different route but the beaurocracy of it all is maknig me want to do the northern route (time also is a big factor and this seems like a better option considering how fast i can ride into Kazakh).
Lonely planet published their guide to Afghanistan in August 2007...this to me shows as an indicator that travel through here is a distinct possibility and not entirely reckless.
I just bought the guide at lunctime...few places have it in stock but i have a copy from Stanfords. I will have a read and have a post on here!
Appologies for the delay in responding, I must make more of an effort to answers questions I hopefully can.
Northern Afghanistan is neither as dangerous as the south, or the Northwest Frontier Province in Pakistan, however friends who are presently working in the north of the country tell of a worsting situation.
We were in the Swat region of Pakistan in in late October and three RPG rounds hit the army garrison beside our hotel. The area around the Khyber Pass will be even more lively.
Afghan visas can be bought in Khorog, Tajikistan for $US40 and you can cross in the Wakhan valley, one French lune did a day before, on a horse, aiming for Kabul. Does anyone know if he made it?
A British General in India once said of fighting in Afghanistan, "When planning a campaign in Afghanistan, the first thing one must do is plan his retreat".
Good to hear from you. Amazing trip, by the looks of it. Glad you met the French lune with the horse; now we know he made it at least to the border. Would love to know if he made it; we met him in Kyrgistan.
Concerning Northern Afghanistan, I met both a Dutch reporter and some NGO-people who've worked there for years, and didn't go this year. Well, the reporter didn't go, and the NGO-people had to run on day two, after serious kidnapping threats. Sounds like things are not so great at the moment. Pity, we'd still love to cross the herat-masar-e sharif-kabul stretch ourselves...
Anyway, glad to hear you're fine.
Warm greetings, also for Rebecca
gaea & trui, the girls you met in bucchara
Afghanistan is realitvely trouble free, the big issues are around Helmand Province and the Pakistani Border, the Northern area is probably the safest part in terms of the 'Human' element. The big problem is landmines, the amount is ridiculous. I mean kabul for example has a high intensity mixed mine field acros the entire northern section near to the airport. (If I went I would certainly take a mine kit) Kabul is relatively safe, and heavily populated by NGO's if you do go to kabul make sure you visit the british fort, kings tomb and the area around the olympic stadium. I was in afganistan during the Invasion of Iraq, and the only real problem area was Helmand and the border where there is intensive fighting, in Kabul VBIED's and Rocket attacks on the military and journalist locations were frequent-ish (about 3 times a week). Whilst there apparently hiqmayter-gulbedeen (scuse spelling) were trying to kidnap a westerner.
Personally I WOULD recommend going, but I would keep your wits about you, but remember, its the minority of ppl who are the issue.
If you are definitely going through afghanistan, i've got a mate who does security for NGO's who has just come back and can give you a proper security brief over the phone...
I might find this thread and look you up again sometime nearer the time.
just PM me closer to the time, I cant help you with border crossings, and I doubt my mate will be able to, as we flew into Kabul International, but I imagine it will be just like any other country in that area... What I can do is pop into the Afghanistan Cultural Centre near where I work and ask.. Or you can... Its on Church Road, Harlesden NW10 near to the Magistrates court, it is full of people who could help you, or I suppose the embassy?
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