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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Born to Ride!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I flew into Kabul with visions of spring in full force. Roses blossoming, Friday picnics and comfortable 25.c sunny days. Instead I was met with a slightly cold bite in the air and rain filled days. I was convinced by friends that it was a blessing for the Afghan farmers, who are potentially staring down the barrel at a drought riddled summer. So I didn't complain, but it certainly wasn't ripe weather for skateboarding or motorcycle adventures.

We have a good working relationship with a mechanic named Hameed, who's workshop is located on a muddy back street of Kabul. They can fix anything, which helps when you are riding Chinese motorcycles. Afghan's love to 'supe' up their weak 150cc bikes to look like 500cc racing bikes.

Yesterday, contrary to weather predictions the sun shone. Spring is here and of course this meant it was time to ride! We have two new members in the club: Frauke and Jean. Welcome.

We headed up to Pahgman, my little roadster (The Super Kabul) struggled to keep up with their off road bikes on the rock/boulder invested mountain tracks.

But me and Lolita (that's my bikes name if you didn't already know) made it and I was rewarded with green tea and sugary biscuits, Lolita a wash in the river.

Jean was keen to test out his new Japanese Suzuki, so off down the mountain he careered. He made it down in one piece.

We cruised down one of the most visually stunning roads in Kabul district to Kargah lake and stopped for a quick happy snap.

Still not satisfied, we continued up towards Bagram. Where the international forces have their main air base and coincidentally a great black market just to the left of the entrance!

Jeremy still recovering from the night before, met us on the road back and brought a camel along as back up.

Riding a motorcycle is no doubt a buzz. But riding a motorcycle in such a breath taking country as Afghanistan is another thing. When your not concentrating on pot holes in the road and military convoys telling you to get off the road as they roar through. You get a chance to take in the surroundings which are really beyond a 1000 words.
posted by Travis, 10:57 am

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