Dust, Wind, Sand/Dust Storms and Dust Devils
Just about all the locals you see here have something to cover their mouth on them when they travel. That is because this place is dusty. I mean really dusty and a lot of the dust here is fine. I've been to places where with the dirt on the ground is so fine that if you push it with your feet it will flow as if it were water. Almost like talcum powder. Trust me this stuff will get anywhere and everywhere.
This place also gets windy, especially in the northern part of the province. They have a time of the year where it is called the 100 days of wind or the 120 days of wind. I don't remember the exact amount of days. Sometimes it almost seems like a constant wind.
Now if you combine these you can get sand/dust storms and dust devils. The picture is of a sandstorm at 2 in the afternoon taken of a street. You can't really see anything. You can see these coming from a bit of distance away then all of a sudden it's all around you. I never have seen so many dust devils in my life. Sometimes you can even see like 6 of them going. It sometimes feels kind of apocalyptic to see so many going in an area where there is not much modern development. These dust devils can get big. I swear that some of them were small tornadoes. They reach right up to the sky and I have seen they rip up things that were spiked into the ground with lots of spikes.
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Zhari and Panjwai Districts
The Zhari and Panjwai districts are both at the time of writing this tip very dangerous areas of the province. They are both about 20 kilometres west of Kandahar city. NATO troops have been fighting many battles in this area with heavy casualties on both sides but a lot more so on the insurgents side. If you are travelling west on the countries ring road of Highway 1, you will be in this area it goes through Zhari district and I believe it borders Panjwai district. In fact one area of this highway in the region there are a lot of ambushes on NATO troops. There is also a lot of marijuana grown in this area.
Although the snake in the picture I do not believe to be venomous there are a few venomous snakes in Kandahar Province. Right from the desert south to the mountainous north. A lot of mountains in the north make excellent hiding spots for snakes as some mountains seem to be piles of boulders. Be careful of where you walk around at night, don't keep open food around your sleeping area because that attracts critters which attract snakes. And becareful if for any reason if you need to place your hand in between rocks.
This place gets hot and it stays hot for long period of times. The thermometer in the picture was only out in direct sunlight for 20 minutes before it read that temperature of 56.5 degrees celsius (134 farenheit) and I've seen it get higher than that. Yes I know that is not the proper way to measure temperature but even so in the shade I saw it at mid to high 40s. It stays this way for months especially in June, July and August. And it's not like you can easily drop into any building for aircon especially outside of Kandahar City. If you are going to venture any distance during the day make sure you have a good supply of water.
You could probaly put this in the 'Things To Do' catergory because this stuff is everywhere. The plant in the picture was inside a government district centre. It seems like almost all the men do as I would see the police hotbox their cars. I would see fields with hundreds of plants. Some of them right on the main highway that goes around the country. I have seen many of these plants growing over 6 feet high. For the most part these fields are guard no where as fiercely as they would be North America, most of them are grown by simple farmers trying to make a living.
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