Negotiating the Afghan minefields. Note, this video features Major Sean Birchall, who died in Afghanistan in June 2009
All week Newsbeat is with British troops in Afghanistan for a series of special reports on life in one of the world's most dangerous countries. In the fifth instalment of her diary, Sima Kotecha hits the road with the Welsh Guards and visits a checkpoint which had just been targeted by the Taliban.
The sound of the explosion startled me. It was 5am. I was fast asleep in my bunk when the loud bang woke me up.
A hundred thoughts raced across my mind. After a couple of minutes, my heart stopped racing. I turned over and surprisingly drifted off into a deep sleep again.
That's how it is here. The soldiers are used to the sounds of gun fire and explosions. It's nothing out of the ordinary. After all, we are in the middle of a war zone.
We're now in Lashkar Gah, a town in the heart of Helmand Province.
Its nickname is Lash Vegas. Not sure why. There are definitely no casinos, bright lights or strippers here. I guess it's to do with the desert. Just like Nevada, it's blazing hot. The air is dry and the sand is fine.
The Welsh Guards on patrol near Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan
Lashkar Gah is where the British military have their main command centre in Afghanistan so it's an important place.
It's nowhere near as big as Camp Bastion. You can probably walk around it in less than 10 minutes.
I like it. In three days, I've got to know many of the troops. They play volleyball, have barbecues and watch rugby matches on TV. And a lot of them are huge Radio 1 fans. So many of them have asked about Chris Moyles. He's got a massive fan base here.
The other day, we hit the road with the Welsh Guards. This time, in a Landrover Snatch vehicle, we drove through Lashkar Gah and stopped at key checkpoints along the way.
It was dangerous stuff. While visiting the ANP (Afghan National Police), we walked on a road between two minefields. The soldiers asked me to stay close just in case there was an explosion. Luckily, there wasn't.
Next was a hike up a mountain so they could show me Taliban territory. The view was magnificent. There was a clear emerald green river running in between two fields. The grass was a darker shade of green and contrasted well with the water.
The Operation Commander, Major Sean Birchall, explained the Taliban had a solid hold on the area and in the morning they'd been firing at the checkpoint where we were standing.
I looked down to the ground and saw around twenty bronze bullets at my feet. The OC said: "They're probably all Taliban bullets."
The patrol was not as long as the one we did at Bastion but it was scarier.
Being in a town which is regularly threatened by insurgents, I felt like I was walking on egg shells the whole time. We stopped at a school and handed out backpacks and colouring pencils to the small children.
Their smiles made it worthwhile. A young boy with dark brown eyes was walking around with a kite. Ten years ago when the Taliban were in charge, his kite would have banned but now under the watchful eye of the British patrol, kites can fly again.
This country's problems are not over, but there some small victories.
Major Sean Birchall died in an explosion while on routine patrol near Lashkar Gah in central Helmand province in June 2009.
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