Q wanted to fly between Herat and Mazar-i Sharif and join us there but G told her that this was not feasible, especially as our own route and dates are unconfirmed. Instead, Q will try to fly back to Kabul and G will spend the afternoon at the airport trying to register her on the next available flight. It will then be up to Q to decide if she waits 2 weeks for us to return to Kabul, or fly onto Pakistan to stay with a friend. As Q could hardly breathe at breakfast, there’s no way that she could travel with us. This was not an easy decision to make and G was worried about leaving her on her own.
After breakfast we walked down a steep embankment, through the town and up to the Buddha niches. It was blazing hot and we got a lot of local attention, mainly because we are walking and they weren’t used to seeing tourists on the road with them.
Even in its present state the site is magnificent and the senseless destruction is soul wrenching.
We spent the morning moving between the large and smaller niches.
The group climbed up behind the niches to view the remains of the frescos (stunning blue lapis lazuli blue) and stand in the alcoves above the Buddha heads.