A first hand account of extraordinary travel, it is a reminiscent of "Short Walk in the Hindu Kush". This book about Afghanistan is highly topical. Despite its recent upheavals, for most of the twentieth century Afghanistan was a sleepy, faraway place of little interest to outsiders. Nowhere was the romance and mystery attached to the country more dramatically expressed than in its Nuristan region (formerly Kafiristan - Land of Infidels). Here, the spectacular mountains and lush but inaccessible valleys have, for centuries, been home to one of the world's least known peoples. Isolated in their mountain villages, the Nuristanis were only converted to Islam at the end of the nineteenth century. "A Passage to Nuristan" is the story of three young westerners - a Briton, an American and a German - who in 1960 set out to penetrate a land that few westerners had set eyes on. Unable to rely on maps or information on what would confront them, they were guided step by precarious step into the unknown world previously immortalised by Kipling's "The Man Who Would be King". This is the contemporary record - now published for the first time - of an extraordinary journey.
It will fascinate all who are interested in Afghanistan, Central Asia and travel. At the same time it captures the essence of a time and a place now gone forever.
Sir Nicholas Barrington served in the British Embassy in Kabul from 1959 to 1961. Joseph T. Kendrick was political officer to the American Embassy in the late 1950s and Reinhard Schlagintweit was posted to West Germany's Embassy in Kabul from 1958 to 1961. All went on to be high ranking diplomats. Sandy Gall, the former ITN correspondent, made his first trip to Afghanistan in 1982, after which he produced his much acclaimed television documentary on Afghanistan 'Behind Russian Lines'.