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A turbaned Pashtun offers me a joint with a toothless smile and a nod of his head before he squats on his haunches. "Afghanistan", he says, pointing to the joint and then to the right of the sun sinking slowly toward the horizon. Twenty metres to my left, a dozen men on prayer mats bow in unison toward Mecca — a thousand-plus miles to the west over brambles and hillocks of scorched, ochre earth. If nowhere has a middle, it's got to be close.

Anyone who's spent a summer on the road exploring Europe knows it can be a costly proposition. Even the most budget-savvy traveller can struggle to keep expenses below €75 per day. Add a museum visit, an evening meal out or a night of bar-hopping to the blend and your daily spend can quickly climb over €100.