Nuristan is one of the most remote areas on Earth, right up in the Hindu Kush mountains. "Hindu Kush" translates as "Hindu Killer", which describes the terrain and climate well. The area used to be called Kafiristan, land of unbelievers, until it was converted to Islam at swordpoint in the 19th century and became known as Nuristan, land of light.

Kipling wrote of it in "The Man Who Would be King". In his day, no Europeans had been there. John Huston made a film ( based on the book, with Sean Connery and Michael Caine in lead roles. It is a fine movie and the geography is about right, but the culture is more from Kipling's imagination than anything related to the actual place.

Another wonderful book about the area is Eric Newby's "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush", long out of print but recently reprinted by Lonely Planet, (http://shop.lonelyplanet....) ISBN: 0864426046. When Newby and a friend visited Nuristan in the 1950s, they were the second or third European expedition ever to reach it.