Kevin Swains
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This is Kev's Travel Blog

Kyber Pass 

Dodgy photos from a disposable camera for the next 2 pages!

The Kyber Pass seems to have become some what of a legend in history. But everything I read on it tells a different story. They say it hasn't actually been as significant or as strategic as people believe. But I don't care. They've made a carry on film here so thats good enough for me. In fact I amuse myself with the thought of yelling "up ya Kyber" to the locals as I sit on top of the pick up truck:)

Kyber Pass Start
The arch at the start of the pass.
The Pass lies around 40km or so from the centre of Peshawar. It's also in a tribal zone so armed police protection is required to visit. This is all arranged easily, in my case the hotel owner arranges the permit, the gaurd, the taxi to the pass and a small tour around the tribal town of Landi Kotal and all for U$9ish.


Kyber Pass to Pakistan 
The pass on the Pakistan side. Probably the best photo point.
From the smugglers bazzar (the last place where foreigners are allowed without an armed escort) we pass into tribal land. It appears no different apart from the gun shops and the locals carrying Kalashnakovs. We stop at the touristy start of the pass where the arch crosses the road. We read the history of the pass, chiseled into the wall and become historical experts in 15 minutes.

We move on and become blocked in a traffic jam. When I was here five years ago the pass was quiet with only a handful of trucks going onwards into Afganistan. Now it's jam packed. It seems like there are lots of Afgani heading home with their entire personal belongings packed onto the back of a pickup.
We stop at the usual photo stop and snap a few pictures alongside another tour group. It's actually quite a good photo stop.

Kyber Pass to Afghanistan
As far as we are allowed to go. Afganistan is about 4km in the

distance behind the Torkham border.

After some climbing and winding we reach as far as we are allowed to go from where we can see the few km into Afganistan. 

It's not actually that spectacular. It's simply the thought of the place and the fact that these are dangerous lands and have been for many hundreds of years.
On the hils are old British watch towers built to spy enemy attacks.


Landi Khotal Kids
Locals in Landi Kotal.

On the way back we stop in the tribal town of Landi Kotal and we all dive into a restaurant for a Kebab and chapati. A joint gets passed around and our police gaurd tucks into it. It's not that strange around here. I've met only a few locals who don't smoke the stuff daily. Afterwards we get what feels like a package tour around Landi Kotal market and we follow a rather dazed policeman through the alleyways. He actually didn't have a clue as to where he was going. It's rather entertaining seeing guys (and children) selling sheets of hasheesh next to a fruit and veg shop.


Well Armed Afghanis 
Well armed Afganis.
We left Landi Kotal behind and I sit on top of the pickup for a better view. We stop only once, for out last photo in the tribal areas. It's not that exciting....until....a Toyota Hiace (van) pulls up nearby and stacks of Afganis climb out. It's hard to believe that they actual can all fit in there but whats more incredible is the amount of fire power they posses between them. About 5 or six of them have machine guns around their necks as casually as we have camera bags. 

A few of our group feel slightly uneasy....not suprising seeing that out gaurd is stoned:)
But they turn out to be friendly and let us shoot off a few photos. I'm soo pissed off about losing my camera with two of my best photo days (Kyber pass and Darra) and only a crappy disposable camera to use!