Photographer's Note

My last picture was taken in 1995. This one brings you back to 1973. In a few weeks this was exactly 40 years ago.

This is the Sabzak Pass in northwestern Afghanistan, not far from the border of Turkmenistan, which in those days was part of the Soviet Union. This was the main road in that part of the country, the only way to go between the major cities of Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Herat in the west, close to Iran.

I was travelling by pickup-trucks with a bench along three sides and a lot of luggage in between. It was rather uncomfortable, to say the least, but an experience I would not have wanted to do without.

Unfortunately these cramped conditions made it difficult to take pictures unless we stopped so I could get off. On the other hand the road was so bad, the hills so steep and the truck so heavily loaded that quite often everyone had to get off and walk for a while at the worst places.

Sometimes there was hardly any road at all, meaning it was time again to take a walk.

The four day journey through the northwest (I stopped here and there for sightseeing and resting) brought me through some fascinating sceneries, but I was glad to finally reach Herat, where I could once again eat some decent food and stay in a clean hotel.

On the last day we passed across the Sabzak Pass, which was perhaps the highlight of the entire journey. I remember thinking that if I would never see the Grand Canyon (which I still haven't seen and probably never will) at least I had seen the Sabzak Pass.

These men were repairing the road. As far as I remember there was actually a machine of some kind just around the bend, which was why we had to wait, and I could take this picture.

I have scanned it from a Kodachrome slide.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7091 W: 408 N: 14050] (66136)
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