Quest for Blue Mountain in Afghanistan

Hello, I am Tom Chapin and a distant from tear the far east as a stark mountain enclave that is lowered and prefered breed of traveler for at least five thousand years. To get there, they have to cross one of the most treacherous passes on earth. Climb to more than 15,000 feet and more recently skirt the bottom lines of the soviet Afghan war. But for those who survive the land mines in the crossfire, the rewards are great indeed. Lapis Lazuli the semi-precious stone, is an abundant natural resource Afghanistan. Doctor Whitney Atoy, an American adventurer recently braved a trip to the oldest mine in the world. Rich with a spectacular bluestone known as lapis.

In the late 13th century, the great explorer Marco Polo spoke and speak. He praised the as your stone within it which has been mined in this remote corner of Afghanistan for more than five thousand years. Today the stones called Lapis Lazuli. Since the days of the Babylonians Lapis has held a ritualistic value celebrated for deep, blue-collar unmatched by any other stone or jewel. Doctor whitten batboy is an expert on Afghanistan. For years the Bluestone has fascinated him and when by chance he found this Egyptian figurine, in the library at the school at which teachers whitten came to a decision. At the age of 48, he would attempt the most hazardous journey of his life, into war-torn Afghanistan to find the mountain of azier. From London his journey will take first to Pakistan and the north-west frontier town of peshawar. As a boy I was inspired by the travels of Marco Polo, but later I realized he never actually reach the mines himself. After years and traveling over much about Afghanistan, neither had I. And I do not know any foreigner who has, then two years ago in the bazaars of of peshawar, I met a man who made his living smuggling lapus from the mines. When I asked him whether I too could get to the mines? He simply said, “wanna”.

I spend the first week in the relative cool at my hotel trying to make contact with the people who control the mines and the smuggling route. And now, one of my friends in the resistance has asked me to meet him showers old city. Across the border in embattled Afghanistan, the mines have fallen out of government hand. And now, belong to the resistance would you have been. Monsoon Halili comes from a family imports, but now there is a war and he is a highly placed official in the resistance. Without my old friends helps my dreams reaching the mines will come to nothing. Monsoon tells me to find a building called Sean hotel in the Khyber Bazaar. On the third floor he says I will find the lapis merchants, it turns out to be room 34. It looks like a carpet shop and smugglers then rolled into one.

The phones ring with orders from England, Germany and the US, but the majority of stones go to Hong Kong where they made into jewelry for the international market. Local traders and jewellers common goal delivering enormous police and money for small pieces alone cut locks. Surely, somebody here can you tell me more about the route and the risks involved. This route is starting to sound pretty risky will those passes really be open. In this part of the world it is hard to predict which afford. On the roof is this year’s very for shipment of lapis arriving home yesterday. Stones are washed unsorted here, only the top grades find their way to international jewelers. Grades three, four and five are sold as ours throughout the Indian subcontinent.

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