National Geographic : 1958 Jul
\oL. ('XIV, No. 1 VASH IN(;TON JuLY, 1958 THE AGAZNIIE (Y 1958 BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, WASHINGTON, D. C . INTERNATIONAL COPYRIT SIXUR D West from the Khyber Pass Threading 4,000 Miles of Southwest Asia's Dusty Roads, the Author Renews His Friendship with the People of the Moslem World BY WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS II'ilth Phtolora/)ls by JIcrcc'dcs II. Douq/as and the Juthor A T a press conference in Washington, I). ('., I outlined our plans. We would go by automobile along the southern edge of Russia from Pakistan to Tur key. \e would cross deserts and mountains over some of the worst roads in the world. "Aren't there bandits on the way?" asked one reporter. "Well, we've been warned about some tribal areas," I replied. "What if the car breaks down?" another asked. Perhaps he knew about my mechanical aptitude: I can barely tell one end of a screwdriver from the other. "That's simple," I said. "I'm taking along my wife Mercedes to fix the car." The Making of a Mechanic Mercedes. who has a flair for machinery and a mind of her own, took this joke quite seri ously. Before we left. she obtained a manual on car repair and learned how to use it. She also shopped for spare parts that would fit the 1950 station wagon awaiting us in Asia. The car belonged to our friend Mary Wat kins, of Rockville. Maryland. Mary had been touring Southeast Asia for a year and wanted to drive across the Near and Middle East. 'But I won't do it alone," she had written. We were happy to oblige. Mary is a zest ful traveler with wide interests. She is also an enthusiastic amateur archeologist. The city of Peshawar, on the western edge of Pakistan, lies at the mouth of the narrow Khyber Pass (mal, pages 10 and 11). It was here that we completed the outfitting of our car and began our long journey west. To buy a spare battery and extra leaves for our rear springs, we turned to the Pesha war bazaars-winding streets lined with small shops. The merchants often live on the sec ond floor, where balconies command a view of the street and where, I was told, hashish and opium -or even murder-can be bought. Along these streets coppersmiths and pot ters work at their trades. There are shops filled with leather sandals and cartridge belts. Tobacco, snuff, and spices are on display: blocks of stalls are filled with luscious fruit, protected from the fierce summer sun by ragged awnings. Afghans, Pathans. and Turkomans for gather in teahouses where samovars boil con stantly. There are shops full of sweets and The Author Dedicated to the bettering of understanding be tween West and East, Associate Justice William O. Douglas of the United States Supreme Court has re peatedly crisscrossed Asia. Four books, beginning in 1951 with Strange Lands and Friendly' People, have recorded his interviews with the kings and commoners of these ancient lands. Here the National Geographic presents a warmly personal record of the Justice's most recent venture into the East. A book-length account of the trip. West of the Indus, will be pub lished this fall by Doubleday and Company.